Ipswich northern bypass is back on the political agenda just a week after wet dock crossing gets go-ahead
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
A potential route for a new road is to be considered and drawn up over the next six months – but its scope and length has still to be decided.
A new bypass is considered vital if the northern fringe development in Ipswich is not to cause serious extra congestion on the town’s existing road network.
The feasibility study will look at all options for a new road network, including a full dual-carriageway bypass from the A14 Whitehouse junction in Ipswich to the A12/A1214 roundabout at Martlesham.
Other options are likely to be more limited, providing easy links from the new housing developments to the north of Ipswich to the A14 to the west of the town and the A1214 in the Kesgrave area.
Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said the leaders of Suffolk’s local authorities agreed to commission the feasibility study.
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Work on it should start next month and it should have come up with a preferred route selected by the end of the year.
He said: “We are looking at everything, from the full dual carriageway to local distributor routes.
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“The Suffolk public sector leaders are using £250,000 that we have from additional business rates to draw up this plan and then take it forward for government backing.
“That is the way Norfolk and Norwich went about funding the Northern Distributor Road – and work is just starting on that.”
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said securing a new road to the north of the town was vital before work on the northern fringe development could start. It was the natural development once the funding for the wet dock crossing had been secured in this year’s budget. Mr Gummer said: “The study will look at all the options for roads in the north of the town but it is necessary to know what is realistic.
“It could take decades to get a full northern dual carriageway bypass and all the time its cost will be going up. It could be that other options will open up the northern fringe much sooner. We have to avoid the situation where the perfect becomes the enemy of the good.”