State of Ipswich's roads spark calls for crunch meeting
PUBLISHED: 11:32 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:41 01 July 2018
Calls have been made for Suffolk Highways chiefs to address frustrated Ipswich motorists at a dedicated public meeting to discuss the state of the town's roads.
Ipswich Borough Council’s Colin Smart has submitted a proposal ahead of Thursday’s overview and scrutiny committee to establish a task group and public debate with town and highways bosses where some of the issues regarding the quality of roads and level of funding can be addressed.
Maintaining county roads is a highways matter which is run at county council level, but Mr Smart said while the county’s review was encouraging Ipswich residents were entitled to answers.
He said: “Residents of Ipswich are frustrated with the poor state of many of the town’s roads
“In light of extra funding being made available for road repairs in the county, it would be useful for there to be a public debate on the condition of Ipswich roads and an opportunity for committee to seek a review of Suffolk County Council’s priorities for resources for roads.
“Ipswich residents are entitled to know if Ipswich is getting a fair share of the £21million set aside by Suffolk County Council to repair more roads.
“By questioning the county council I hope we will have greater insight and input into how Ipswich’s roads are maintained.
“My colleagues and I are willing to support the highways authority in any ways we can and make recommendations for targeting particular parts of our town which residents feel have been badly neglected over the years.”
Highways chiefs admitted in the Spring that one of the county’s harshest winters for years had left the roads riddled with problems, causing reports of 16,000 defects on the county’s roads in the first three months of this year alone.
Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and rural issues said: “Improving the state of Suffolk’s roads is a priority for Suffolk County Council, which is why last week I announced a major review which includes input from residents, stakeholders and businesses.
“We are therefore more than happy to have a discussion with Ipswich Borough Council about the condition of roads.”
A clear time frame has yet to be established, but Mr Smart said if a task group was agreed on Thursday he would expect to see recommendations submitted by the end of the year.