Ipswich: Roads boost aimed at keeping traffic flowing

Wherstead Road is one of the routes to be improved

Wherstead Road is one of the routes to be improved - Credit: Archant

Ipswich is to get another £5 million over the next five years to help get traffic in and out of the town centre.

The money includes £1.8 million announced as part of this week’s growth fund settlement from the government. The rest will come from the county council and other central government funds.

It will be spent on the major arterial roads into the town – the A1214 from Rushmere Heath to Copdock Mill including Valley Road and Colchester Road, Norwich/Bramford Road, Felixstowe/Nacton Road, and Wherstead Road.

The exact projects have still to be drawn up by the county council, but engineers are hoping to learn from the improvements to Nacton Road and Ransomes Way from the A14 to Warren Heath which are due to be carried out later this year.

That will see lanes and junctions re-aligned to enable them to cope with more traffic.

Similar treatment will be given to the major roads heading to the town centre to ensure Ipswich is prepared for the next phase of growth over the next few years.

The aim is to prepare the town for the development of the northern fringe, a possible new village at Martlesham Heath, up to 1,500 jobs being created in new businesses at Futura Park, and further development at Ransomes Europark.

On the other side of town the county is preparing for the development of the former sugar beet factory at Sproughton for business, and further industrial development off Norwich Road.

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Traffic lights on these roads are due to be linked into the new computer-controlled system which should ensure traffic flows better in and out of the town – but the growth in the number of vehicles means that more delays may become inevitable.

MP Ben Gummer said: “This is not going to solve all the problems in the town, but it will allow some incremental improvements over the next few years.

“It will hopefully ease some of the worst bottlenecks and we can then look towards more improvements in the future.”

Borough council leader David Ellesmere, who is hoping to take the seat next year, was keen for his authority to be involved in any plans.

He said: “I hope they talk to us about what they do – we could have had better communication over some aspects of the Travel Ipswich programme.

“But in the longer term we need much more investment – especially to ensure there is a much more robust system in place when the Orwell Bridge is closed.”