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Ipswich Society warns northern bypass won't help town's traffic

PUBLISHED: 16:30 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:28 11 September 2019

Ipswich Society chairman John Norman warned that a northern bypass would have little impact on the  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Society chairman John Norman warned that a northern bypass would have little impact on the Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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The Ipswich Society has warned that a northern bypass across the town will do little to ease the area's traffic problems - but will cause major environmental damage.

Ipswich Society chairman John Norman. Picture: SU ANDERSONIpswich Society chairman John Norman. Picture: SU ANDERSON

And it has written to Suffolk County Council to say that if there is money available for a project like this, it would be better to spend it on a number of smaller schemes to ease traffic problems and encourage more people to find other ways of travelling.

The society has made a submission to the consultation on the proposals for new Northern Route across the town - drawing on experience from the opening of the new A120 bypass from Bishops Stortford and Stansted to Braintree in 2004.

A survey after that road opened showed that it had attracted much more traffic than expected - and because it was so congested vehicles had returned to the former road and increased pollution levels there at peak times.

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The society says: "The dualling of the A120 between Stansted Airport and Braintree gas resulted in a large increase in traffic over the whole corridor."

Ipswich Society chairman John Norman said: "If you look at the documents, the amount of improvement on Ipswich's road network from the new route would be minimal. There would be a 2% reduction in Star Lane. That is nothing. You can't justify the new road on that basis."

He said it would be far better to spend any money on improvements to existing routes. "A new road would put a lot more traffic down Henley, Westerfield, Tuddenham and Rushmere Roads from the new homes that would have to be built in the Finn Valley."

Better cycling routes, public transport services and junction improvements were needed to try to get people out of their cars.

Ipswich Green Party Party has also come out against the road. A statement from them said: "The Green Party do not accept building more roads like the Northern Bypass, will reduce traffic at peak times in Ipswich. It will do nothing to reduce harmful pollution and will not address the need for low carbon affordable housing."

The consultation on the new road closes on Friday. To mark that day, a group of protesters about the new road - led by Central Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter - will be marching from the Cornhill from 11.30am to Endeavour House with a petition opposing the road.

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