Ipswich Maritime Trust objects to Orwell crossings proposal

Thames sailing barge Victor at the quayside in Ipswich - could a new bridge threaten its tourist tri

Thames sailing barge Victor at the quayside in Ipswich - could a new bridge threaten its tourist trips? - Credit: Archant

Proposals to build new bridges across the River Orwell near Ipswich wet dock have prompted an objection from the organisation representing users of the historic Waterfront.

Stuart Grimwade from the Ipswich Maritime Trust.

Stuart Grimwade from the Ipswich Maritime Trust. - Credit: Archant

The Ipswich Maritime Trust has lodged a formal objection to the proposals because of concerns about the new road bridge to the south east of the Wet Dock lock gates.

The Trust fears that the largest bridge, from Cliff Quay to the West Bank, would seriously restrict access to the Wet Dock for vessels with tall fixed masts.

And they fear it could be built too near the lock gates to allow enough manoeuvrability for vessels attempting to negotiate the lock gates.

Stuart Grimwade from the Trust said the proposed bridge would be high and have an opening section in the middle – but it was clear that it would not be possible to open during peak traffic periods.

That would prevent many vessels, including the sailing barges that are such a feature of the Waterfront, from getting in or out of Ipswich at peak times.

He said: “This is a major concern for the Trust – the barges are very important for the Waterfront are also very important for the tourist industry centred on that part of the town.

Most Read

“If this bridge prevents them from operating it would be very serious for the whole character of the area.”

Detailed studies to try to establish a route for the new crossing are due to start during the spring – the county council is seeking planning permission to set up compounds to use as bases for the work over the next few weeks.

A spokesman for the county council said they had been made aware of the Trust’s concerns – but emphasised nothing had yet been decided.

He said: “We have invited the Ipswich Maritime Trust to discuss their concerns with us – we want to hear from people who have an interest in this so their views can be taken into consideration before a final decision is taken.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter