Ipswich set for �23m road overhaul

A MAJOR �23million scheme to improve footpaths and transport links is set to radically transform Ipswich town centre, it emerged today.

Neil Puffett

A MAJOR �23million scheme to improve footpaths and transport links is set to radically transform Ipswich town centre, it emerged today.

The cash will pay for:

The pedestrianisation of Upper Brook Street

Huge improvements to pedestrian links from the railway station to town centre

Refurbishment of both the Old Cattle Market and Tower Ramparts bus stations

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Improved bus services across the town

Better links between the Waterfront and Ipswich town centre

The use of new technology to improve traffic flows

The scheme, being pushed through by Suffolk County Council chiefs, received the backing of regional transport bosses last week with a final decision set to be taken by central government next month.

Guy McGregor, responsible for transport at Suffolk County Council, said he is “very confident” the project will be signed off.

“This is a huge boost of quality for the town centre of Ipswich making it something quite outstanding in line with more civilised elements of European cities,” he said.

“It will make it a more attractive place to walk and enjoy, raising the spirits and making it stand apart from other towns of a similar size.”

Should funding be given the green-light work is expected to be complete by 2011 or 2012.

Paul Clement, director of Ipswich Central, said: “The essence of this scheme has always been to improve the consumer journey into and around the town centre.

“People using town centres like areas that are easily accessible and particularly like pedestrianised areas where they are free to shop without being disturbed by traffic.”

He added that linking the town centre to the Waterfront through improved pedestrian crossing is “absolutely crucial” in developing the town as a shopping and leisure destination.

Today's announcement follows a further �11.5m county-wide package that includes improving traffic flow at the Duke Street/Back Hamlet injunction - with work expected to start from April 1 and last for up to 12 months.

It will also include improvements to the cycle route between Felixstowe and Trimley, new pedestrian crossings at Garrison Lane and High Road West and the completion of the B1115 Stowmarket relief road.

What do you make of the proposals? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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