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Campaigners and MPs look at new ways of easing Ipswich traffic

PUBLISHED: 19:00 04 February 2020

Traffic congestion on Colchester Road, Ipswich due to traffic light roadworks.

Traffic congestion on Colchester Road, Ipswich due to traffic light roadworks.

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Campaigners who saw off proposals to build a northern bypass across Ipswich have now drawn up their own report looking at how to ease traffic problems in the town centre.

And the town's two MPs - who were on opposite sides of the northern bypass debate - agree that the county council needs to take action to ease the threat of growing congestion.

The Stop! The Ipswich Northern Bypass group is reinventing itself as Start! Future Proof Ipswich and has produced a report looking at ways of encouraging people to leave their cars at home, using public transport, walking or cycling.

The report looks at what has happened in some other British and European cities to try to make it easier for people to get around without the need for private cars.

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In Ipswich it says the Bury Road park and ride should be reopened and a new centre developed in the Ravenswood area - and it also says that much more effort should be put into making walking and cycling more attractive.

It says paths should be linked up and properly signposted to make cycling more attractive, and that bus services should be supported to operate during the evenings to give people the chance to have a night out without having to drive.

Ipswich Tory MP Tom Hunt - a keen campaigner for the northern bypass - said the county's proposals, which include the possibility of reopening the park and ride and supporting bus services to open new routes to new developments, would be welcome as far as they went.

"These are certainly developments I could support - but I haven't given up on the bypass yet. There was a strong business case for the road nearest the town and while I understand the councils are not supporting it at this time, it is something that will be needed in the future and I will continue to do what I can to press for it."

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter, a fellow Conservative, was a strong opponent of the proposed road. He said: "I welcome the county council's report looking at other ways of easing the traffic. And it is good that the campaigners are also looking a this - showing they are not just interested in stopping the new road.

"We have to look at ways of easing traffic in Ipswich and this is something we will all continue to look at over the next few years."

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