Transport is patients' top priority in new medical centre plans

A new "super surgery" could open in north west Ipswich in 2024.

The new larger, purpose-build surgery could open in north west Ipswich in 2024. - Credit: IBC/NHS/KLH Architects

Members of the public have continued to have their say on plans to build a purpose-built medical hub in Ipswich, with transport at the forefront of patients’ minds. 

Cardinal Medical Practice group has proposed to amalgamate its current three sites at Deben Road, Chesterfield Drive and Norwich Road into one care centre. 

The proposed location is at the former Tooks bakery building on Old Norwich Road. 

At a meeting on Tuesday, James Cucchiara, managing director of Suffolk Primary Care said the new site would “solve the current issue that all three sites currently have in terms of car parking.” 

He continued: “There will be an increased number of patients car parking spaces, and the links to the proposed building are very good, and good bus routes are expected.” 

One member of the public asked about patients requiring a bus to get to the proposed site.

They told the meeting: “Patients that have limited mobility have said the current bus stops are too far for them. Meredith Road is up hill. And the B&M bus stop does not have a safe walk way through, so there needs to be joint responsibility.” 

Stuart Edgar, the associate director at KLH architects and project architect for this proposal, said: “Bus services to the site could be improved, but we will need to look to the council to have support for that. 

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“Once we put the planning application in with our transport statement that will highlight those potential improvements, that’s when Suffolk County Council and Highways England are able to pick those up and act upon them.” 

He added that Ipswich Buses seemed to be aware that changes to routes may be needed, from comments made in March

Councillor Christine Shaw asked whether the proposed pedestrian access at the junction of Bury Road and Old Norwich Road might improve the junction. 

Mr Edgar agreed that the junction needed improving, and said that there was a possibility of a cycle lane being introduced on Bury Road. 

“The traffic lights could be improved and we would hope that there is a better crossing available in the future as part of the delivery of the building.  

“At the moment, there is no footpath that continues around the corner, so that’s something we’d look to add in, and that’s where we’d need some minor tree removals, or possibly just some low shrub removals.” 

This ten-week engagement exercise will close on Tuesday, May 24.