Could these major new roads solve Ipswich’s traffic problems?
PUBLISHED: 07:30 28 February 2020
Ipswich’s borough council chief has outlined major new roads needed in the town, after the demise of the northern bypass project.
David Ellesmere has called for the new task group pledged by Suffolk County Council on Tuesday to investigate a series of highways solutions at pinch points across the town.
READ MORE: End of the road for northern bypass
Among his demands are a new link road connecting Europa Way with Bramford Road to alleviate traffic pressures, and work to explore a new road link connecting London Road, Hadleigh Road and Sproughton Road.
Other measures the Labour borough council leader has called for are an assessment of peak time movements at the Ravenswood roundabout and Old Norwich Road links to Claydon, and measures to make public transport more accessible in Upper Orwell Street, Argyll Street, St Helens Street, Rope Walk and Grimwade Street.
It comes as part of a series of topics Mr Ellesmere has requested the new task force addresses, which also includes other transport schemes, walking and cycling provision and improved public transport.
He said: "We believe that the proposals should be actively considered as soon as possible by the task force and form the bare minimum of the investment that Ipswich should expect.
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"Although it is clearly a poor second best to proceeding with a northern bypass, we want to see the task force set up as soon as possible and for Ipswich Borough Council to be strongly represented on it."
Conservative councillor Andrew Reid, cabinet member for highways at the county council who will be on the task group, would not be drawn on whether those new road ideas had legs.
He said: "It will be up to the task force to determine what priorities it wants to examine once a chairperson, membership and terms of reference are in place.
"I do not wish to predetermine the focus of the task force before it has even been formed. Of course any of Councillor Ellesmere's ideas could be considered by the task force, but that will be up to the chairperson of the task force to decide."
Suffolk County Council's cabinet on Tuesday agreed to formally end any work on an Ipswich northern route because it had failed to secure support from all of the county's authorities and resulted in two thirds of consultation respondents objecting to the plans.
Read more: Ipswich MP Tom Hunt offers to lead traffic task force
Despite the objections, the economic business case for such a road was deemed to be very strong, with Mr Ellesmere, Conservative Ipswich MP Tom Hunt and the county council's Labour group all calling for the scheme not to be dropped.
Work to form the task group is currently underway, with a chairman expected to be announced soon.
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