Hundreds sign bridge toll petition

HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition against a toll for motorists using the Orwell Bridge. Jim Adams, owner of Jim and Donna's hairdressers in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, was outraged at the idea of tolls - one of a raft of proposals put forward to try to control congestion on the A14 around Ipswich.

By Richard Cornwell

HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition against a toll for motorists using the Orwell Bridge.

Jim Adams, owner of Jim and Donna's hairdressers in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, was outraged at the idea of tolls - one of a raft of proposals put forward to try to control congestion on the A14 around Ipswich.

And he has been delighted with the amount of support his protest campaign has received.


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He said: “Many of the people who have been popping in to sign the petition are not even my customers - just people who feel very strongly about the idea.

“We have several hundred signatures and I think that shows the strength of feeling people have toward the possibility of tolls.

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“People get quite angry about it and see it as just another tax, especially if they put a congestion charge in Ipswich as well. People would have no alternative.”

Mr Adams said he knew the possibility of a toll on the bridge over the River Orwell - suggested by consultants Atkins in a long list of potential solutions to Ipswich's traffic problems - was probably the least likely idea to be taken up, but it was important to make views known.

He said: “It might only be at the early stages but it will make people think twice about putting in a toll on the Orwell Bridge.

“A toll would be bad news for everybody - and it will only add to the congestion if people go through Ipswich to avoid it.”

A meeting was held on the Atkins report earlier in the year in Ipswich, and parish and town councils next to the A14 were then invited to comment on its ideas.

Other suggestions included a northern by-pass for Ipswich, a second river crossing over the Orwell, and even widening the current bridge to increase the number of lanes.

With 23,000 new homes to be built in the Ipswich and Felixstowe area in the next 15 years, growth in car ownership, plus several major business developments including expansion of Felixstowe port, parts of the A14 will reach capacity.

East of England Development Agency and Haven Gateway Partnership officials are currently analysing the responses from the consultation.

What do you think would solve Ipswich's traffic problems? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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