Ipswich: Plans for syncing traffic lights across town move step closer as latest phase of Travel ipswich programme gets underway

Further roadworks due for Ipswich

Further roadworks due for Ipswich

Motorists in Ipswich should find it easier to get around the town centre over the next month as the latest phase of the Travel Ipswich programme is introduced.

The Urban Traffic Management Control (UTMC) system, which will link up traffic lights in a bid to keep vehicles flowing, is due to be switched on within the next month.

It is not expected to see the end of congestion – but should help ease traffic flow around the town.

Meanwhile, work should soon start on the transformation of Queen Street – and an artist’s impression has now been published showing how that should look when work is completed at the end of the year.

The wires linking the traffic lights have been installed over the last few months and the system is due to be turned on over the next month.

Engineers will then have to spend some time adjusting the system to ensure it is as efficient as possible in keeping the traffic moving.

Among the areas expected to benefit from the new system are the roads around the docks, including Star Lane and Fore Street, where tailbacks are a regular occurrence every day between 3.30pm to 7.30pm.

The new UTMC system should also help traffic using the new junction between Civic Drive and Princes Street – and that heading over Stoke Bridge towards Wherstead Road or Burrell Road.

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Officials at the county council are anxious not to raise expectations too high about the likely impact of the introduction of the new technology – but they are hopeful that it will help improve traffic flow around the town.

Paving work at Queen Street is due to start in the summer. It will not be fully pedestrianised and vehicles will still be able to use the road, but it will be narrower and motorists will be expected to share the road with pedestrians and cyclists.

The junction with Falcon Street and St Nicholas’ Street will also be paved and the traffic lights will be removed in a bid to encourage people to use the paved route from Giles Circus to St Peter’s Church to walk from the town centre to the Waterfront.

The work at Queen Street is due to be finished later in the year. It is hoped the new-look road will be completed by the Christmas period to allow festive markets to take place in the area.