Ipswich northern bypass business case to be with transport secretary by end of year
PUBLISHED: 16:08 20 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:51 21 April 2018
A full business case for a northern bypass will be tabled by the end of the year it has been revealed, as transport secretary Chris Grayling has said that some improvements in the area will "have to happen".
The secretary of state was in Ipswich this morning to help canvass for the Conservatives in the upcoming local elections, as well as look at the site for the Upper Orwell Crossings.
During the visit, Mr Grayling spoke about the importance of Ipswich as a “gateway to the continent” and its significance for homes and business.
He hailed the Upper Orwell Crossings as part of a “fantastic vision for the centre of Ipswich”.
He said: “The list of things we need to do is very long indeed.
“Absolutely in each part of the country there are projects that are clear and obvious priorities.
“I try not to set exact date expectations, but there is no doubt that some of the improvements I have been talking about today with the local business community will have to happen.”
Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble confirmed that as well as the Upper Orwell Crossing there had also been conversation about a northern bypass, and confirmed that the aim was to have a full business case by the end of the year.
He said: “I think it’s great to have the secretary of state with us today to come out and do some canvassing with us which is always welcome, but also to meet business people and see for himself the site of the Upper Orwell Crossing, where the various bridges are going to land, and some of the impacts on the local community, and also what it opens up from the island site round on the northern side as well so he gets a real sense of what we are talking about.
“We have also talked about the northern relief road and the £650,000 that Suffolk Public Sector Leaders have allocated to the business case, and we hope to have that on his desk towards the back of this year.”
He added: “When you put together a plan like that and it’s comprehensive and logical then you are truly making the case to the minister of state why Suffolk should receive the investment in the time frames that we set out.”
Councils in Suffolk are currently discussing a growth plan called Suffolk 2050, which aims to promote economic and housing development in the county.