Ipswich junction change dropped after residents’ and drivers’ objections
Proposals to close the junction between Rands Way and Nacton Road have been abandoned after the idea provoked a storm of objections in a public consultation exercise.
Now the money that had been allocated to replace the mini-roundabout at the junction is likely to be re-allocated to another road pinch-point in the town which could be improved as part of a £5million upgrade of junctions on strategic routes into the town centre.
The Rands Way proposal was one of five junction improvements announced by Suffolk County Council with financial support from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership in the autumn.
Work on the first improvement, at the Clapgate Lane/Landseer Road junction, is now nearing completion.
All the individual schemes were put out to public consultation – and the proposal for Rands Way was opposed by 80% of those who took part.
Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich, Paul West, said the opposition was so strong that there was no question of going ahead with the changes.
He said: “We looked at the objections – and there was a very strong feeling that the changes would not improve things and would make it more difficult to access Rands Way.
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“In fact most people didn’t think there was a particular problem with that mini-roundabout so we took the decision to leave it as it is.
“The whole point of having a public consultation is to listen to what the people who live near the area, or use the road, want. They have made their views clear and we have listened to what they said.”
The money allocated to the road changes came from a special account that had £3.5m from the LEP and £1.5m from the county council so it could not be used for general council expenditure.
Mr West said highways officials at the county council would now be looking at other junctions across Ipswich to see if they could benefit from the money saved by not changing Rands Way.
He said: “That was the only major road change planned in this scheme – other proposals are to widen junctions or to replace outdated traffic lights. It could be that there are junctions elsewhere in the town where this kind of work could be beneficial and we shall look at them.”