Battle for northern road across Ipswich will not be a one-sided affair
PUBLISHED: 18:09 21 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:09 21 January 2018
The man who spearheaded efforts to build a northern by-pass across Ipswich 25 years ago has backed new plans to build the road that are now emerging.
But Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter who represents the communities who would be on the route of the new road has repeated the concerns that killed off the proposed road in the mid 1990s.
Mr Stansfield, who retired in 1996 and then spent four years as a Conservative county councillor before moving away from Suffolk, has written a letter saying the road should have been built 20 years ago – but it is not too late for it to help ease the town’s road pressures.
Mr Stansfield said it would help to take away much of the traffic that currently passes through the town when heading from the north east to north west of Ipswich – or vice-versa.
It would reduce congestion on the town’s own road network. He accepted it would not prevent congestion when the Orwell Bridge was closed – but it could help.
He said: “When the bridge closed, its effect would be marginal because it would be a busy road in its own right – but it would ease the pressure and even a marginal improvement would help traffic to move better.”
However Dr Poulter remains concerned. He is in favour of a road link between the Ipswich Garden Suburb (northern fringe) and the A14 – but fears a new road across to the A12 could blight many communities on the edge of Ipswich.
Dr Poulter has said a new major by-pass would not ease traffic in Ipswich town centre. He has said: “The issue of any potential northern bypass is certainly not a new one and even in the early 1980s when the idea was floated, it was acknowledged that a northern bypass route would not offer a solution to traffic congestion in Ipswich town centre, or improve the situation in the event of closure of the Orwell Bridge during extreme weather conditions.”
He said other solutions should be considered such as reducing traffic by persuading motorists to find other ways of travelling if they did not need their cars – and he has also suggested building a tunnel under the River Orwell to ease the growing pressure on the A14 as vehicle numbers continue to increase.