Reaction: Where do people stand on the Ipswich northern bypass?
PUBLISHED: 05:30 29 January 2020
The results of the Ipswich northern route consultation has prompted a flurry of responses from civic leaders in the county – both for and against the proposals.
Conservative Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has backed the route. He said: "There is a solid economic case for building the northern bypass. It's been quite clear for some time that the inner route was the only game in town and I'm glad that this has now been formally underlined in this report. Energy and focus now needs to be directed at promoting this option.
"The business case ratio for the inner route is above the threshold at which the Government begin to take infrastructure schemes very seriously. In fact it's far higher than that for the HS2 stretch between London and Birmingham.
"I appreciate this issue is complex and that it has divided opinion in Suffolk. I love the Suffolk countryside and I'm not cavalier when it comes to building on our countryside but there are moments when important decisions have to be made and when coming to a conclusion it's important to see the bigger picture and to weigh up many different and often competing priorities.
"Ultimately for me, the conclusion that I come to is that the northern bypass needs to be built and there is a reason why the business case is strong. We simply need a solution to the congestion that so often grinds our Town to a standstill. The economic implications of this are vast. The economic potential of Greater Ipswich is capped due to our inadequate road infrastructure. Building the northern bypass would make a major contribution to addressing this."
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READ MORE: Ipswich northern route consultation results
Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere, Labour, said: "The strategic outline business case shows that not only is a Northern Bypass good value for money, it would be much cheaper to construct and require many fewer houses to be built than some of the figures bandied around by its detractors.
"The past few weeks have shown the continuing damage to Ipswich's economy whenever the Orwell Bridge closes.
"We've had enough of delays on our roads and delays by Suffolk County Council. They should commit immediately to submitting a full business case for the bypass to the government."
READ MORE: Two councils withdraw support for Ipswich northern route
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Poulter has been a leading critic of the proposals and said he was very dubious about the cost of building the road.
He said: "They seem to have put a very low value on the land they would need to buy - I am not sure that is at all realistic."
Andrew Stringer from the Green groups at both Mid Suffolk and Suffolk County councils said: "Not only does this proposal appear to have little support - certainly not enough support - but also what it doesn't address is that it in fact exacerbates an existing problem. It would be like a response to a fire being to pour petrol on it."