Ipswich: Long-awaited road signs will help promote town’s heritage

Proposed new sign for Ipswich

Proposed new sign for Ipswich - Credit: Contributed

Ipswich is set to get new long-awaited road signs – marking its status as the oldest English town and showcasing is year-round appeal to visitors.

They are being designed by the borough council and should be in place at the main roads into the town by the middle of next year.

The exact designs still have to be approved by Suffolk County Council which, as the highways authority, has the final say on any new signs.

But the borough wants them to mark Ipswich’s unrivalled heritage – a move the Ipswich Star called for earlier this year.

The signs will mark the fact that Ipswich can lay claim to be the first town in this country founded by the Anglo-Saxons, and the oldest continually-inhabited town.

Towns and cities like London, Lincoln, York, and even Colchester were founded by the Romans – but were largely abandoned in the Dark Ages after the legions withdrew from Britain.

The signs will also have space underneath for a temporary greeting that can be changed during the year – advertising IP-Art and Maritime Ipswich during the summer, its historic Waterfront, and late-night shopping during the run-up to Christmas.

Most Read

Each sign will feature Ipswich landmarks – the Town Hall, the Willis Building and UCS.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said it was vital that the town should project the right image.

He said: “We want Ipswich to be a welcoming place and to tell visitors what we have to offer. The cost of the signs will not be that great and should help to project a good image of the town.

“We are very keen that there should be a positive image for people coming to the town – it is changing but it also has strong links to the past.”

The project was also welcomed by Conservative MP Ben Gummer.

He said: “I am delighted to hear that the borough is going ahead with this, to show visitors what we have to offer.

“At the moment the signs are pretty boring and having a message that you are entering a designated public space doesn’t exactly excite visitors. I hope these signs will soon be up and show the town in the best possible light.”

Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement said: “It is great for the town that the signs at the entrances to Ipswich are to be updated. We look forward to working with all parties to promote the town in its best possible light.”

John Norman from the Ipswich Society said his members had felt for some time that the town needed new signs at its entrances.

He said: “We will be interested in the new signs. I feel you need as few words as possible because drivers don’t have time to take in long messages – but images on signs are very important.”

The news about Ipswich’s proposed new signs comes just days after Norwich unveiled new signs which are being put up at the entrances to the city.