Decision on three lanes for Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, to be finalised this month
A Suffolk County Council committee has backed plans to create a third lane in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, this morning – with a final decision expected by the end of the month.
The development and regulation committee was presented with plans to widen the existing footpaths by removing the grass verges, and move the cycle lanes onto the pavement.
The pedestrian islands will then be stripped out to create a third lane of traffic in the stretch of road between the Warren Heath Sainsbury’s and the roundabout by St Augustine’s Church. It is understood two lanes will head towards Ipswich town centre and one will head towards Nacton.
The committee yesterday passed the recommendation to revoke part of the existing cycle lanes and prevent a right turn into the Sainsbury’s delivery entrance.
The matter has now gone to the cabinet member for highways, Jane Storey, where a final decision will be made this month.
If approved, work will begin in June as soon as the Suffolk Show has finished.
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There had been a number of objections over the cycle lane provision, but speaking at the committee councillor Gary Green said the proposal was the “best scenario for all”.
He added: “At the end of the day I cannot see how we can do anything better with this specific site in Ipswich.”
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The committee report said that the plans were aimed at easing congestion, with the route also being the main diversion when the Orwell Bridge closes.
Ipswich borough councillor Eddie Phillips, whose Bixley ward encompasses part of the road, said: “It’s a good scheme and will help to speed up the traffic so I am pleased with the scheme.”
A poll carried out online revealed that 79% of more than 150 participants felt the measures wouldn’t improve traffic.
More than a third (36%) felt the best course of action was leaving the road as it was, while just 13% felt the proposed third lane was the best measure.
There were 25% who said that improving the roundabouts was best, while 26% said removing the traffic lights for the pedestrian crossing and having an island instead would work best.
If the final decision is approved, work will last for around 20 weeks from starting in June, which includes removing grass verges, removing island crossings and repainting the surfaces.