Felixstowe congestion survery launched

TRADERS in Felixstowe are today being asked to take part in a survey asking for views on growing traffic problems in the town centre.

TRADERS in Felixstowe are today being asked to take part in a survey asking for views on growing traffic problems in the town centre.

Weekday and Sunday congestion in Hamilton Road has been branded as unacceptable, and there are worries over the impact on the resort of proposals to increase parking charges.

One of the key questions is whether businesses would be in favour of permanent pedestrianisation of the stretch of Hamilton Road between the Boots store and Bank Corner.

Felixstowe Chamber of Trade and Commerce has been asked to carry out the survey by the task group of the Safer Neighbour Team.

Chamber chairman Shaun Rudduck said: “The purpose of this survey is to assess how to best address the traffic problems associated with the town centre and reach a conclusion as to how to go forward and improve the situation.”

Questions seek traders' views on the current problems, car park prices and whether if they were cheaper people would park there instead of the shopping streets, and a possible traffic ban.

Most Read

A recent survey of businesses in the Saturday pedestrian-only area found 20 in favour of full pedestrianisation, 15 against and six with no view.

Those against were mainly shops without rear access concerned about the impact on deliveries, or worried over access for the elderly and disabled, issues which would be addressed before any scheme was introduced.

Mr Rudduck said cars park in the restricted bays longer than the 30 minutes permitted, many ignore double yellow lines on the other side, so the street becomes lined each side with vehicles while pedestrians run the gauntlet of trying to avoid through traffic as they walk between parked cars.

He said: “Several of our cherished elderly shoppers have met with an accident as a result and the situation gets worse and more dangerous.

“Felixstowe does not suffer on Saturdays when the road is closed to traffic from 10am to 5pm.

“Nor do other towns appear spoilt by their schemes, many permanent. The out of town supermarkets would not benefit further from such a scheme, as most people like myself, already use them anyway for the weekly shop.”

The chamber has also voiced concern at proposals to increase parking prices in April - with some prices doubling.

“The proposed increases are, in our view, unreasonable for Felixstowe when compared to, say Woodbridge, as we should be encouraging more visitors to the town/resort,” said Mr Rudduck.

Do you think Felixstowe town centre should be traffic-free? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk