Ipswich hotels get boom from weather
THE atrocious weather conditions last night at least brought a smile to the faces of one set of businesses - Ipswich hoteliers.With road and rail conditions preventing many travellers reaching their homes, a number took refuge in town centre hotels.
THE atrocious weather conditions last night at least brought a smile to the faces of one set of businesses - Ipswich hoteliers.
With road and rail conditions preventing many travellers reaching their homes, a number took refuge in town centre hotels.
The Ramada Encore, in Ranelagh Road, benefited from being close to the railway station.
Revenue manager Helen Williams said they sold up to 30 extra rooms to stranded travellers.
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“We had one guest who could not reach Colchester because his train terminated at Ipswich. He booked in for an overnight stay and set off again this morning to make his way home.”
The Novotel, in Greyfriars Road, reported that it did “pick up some extra customers” as Christmas revellers at office parties found it impossible to beat the blizzard.
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However, three young travellers from Felixstowe found no joy at the Novotel and ended up at the Salthouse Harbour at 1.30 in the morning.
Alex Tyrell, of Melford Way, and Kenrah Davidson, of Otley Court, both aged 17, and 22 year-old Sam Bridgefield, of Graham Road, said they received a warm welcome and “overwhelming kindness” when they went to the hotel's reception desk.
“Nothing was too much trouble. We were offered hot drinks and we were given two rooms at a discounted rate of �100 which included breakfast.”
Alex said: “We had waited at the Old Cattle Market bus station for the 10.05 service to Felixstowe, which didn't turn up. We hung around for an hour, with nobody giving any information. We went into The Plough pub to warm up, but when they closed we tried to shelter in the Novotel but were turned away.”
People who did try to brave the elements found themselves stuck in huge late night traffic jams.
Jayne Lindill, commercial business manager for Suffolk Magazine, left High Street, in Ipswich, at 10pm, to drive home to Felixstowe.
“It took me about two hours to get to Bourne Hill, which I expected to have been ploughed or gritted to enable people to get to the A14. But I got stuck along with about 20 other cars and a lorry cab unit,” said Jayne.
“A man leapt to my aid and helped me turn the car around so I could go back down the hill and drove back into town intending to go home via Nacton Road or Landseer Road.
“At 1am I was still in Grimwade Street listening to the radio, but not getting much information about what lay ahead of me. At that point, a police patrol car turned up and the officer told us the eastern hills - Landseer Road, Bishops Hill - were closed because people could get up them and the only route out was via Valley Road, along Colchester Road, Bixley Road and eventually Felixstowe Road and the A14. So that's the way I went.
“It was pretty treacherous - there were abandoned cars everywhere and even the main roads, like Felixstowe Road, were tricky. I crawled along at between 20mph and 40mph and got back to Felixstowe at 2am.”