Could Ipswich Waterfront road closure become permanent?
- Credit: Archant
A decision is due to be made on whether an area of Ipswich Waterfront will stay permanently traffic-free - after hundreds of people gave their views on the proposals.
Suffolk County Council closed off a stretch of road between the Old Custom House and Coprolite Street when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, as part of efforts to allow pedestrians and cyclists more room to socially distance.
In March this year, the authority confirmed it was consulting on plans for the closure to remain in place permanently, because it had proved a success.
The council is now planning to make a final decision by the end of June, and is currently working through the consultation responses.
A spokeswoman from the authority said: "We received 416 responses for the first consultation - measures to stay in place for a trial period - and 323 responses for the second consultation, as a result of the success of the trial to make the changes permanent."
The council has confirmed the decision will be made by the cabinet member for highways and transport.
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Councillors have previously said that the public reception to the Waterfront plans had been largely positive, and welcomed changes which will make walking and cycling easier.
A survey carried out last year on the trial found 64% of respondents felt the Waterfront scheme either worked well or very well, with 43% saying it did not work well.
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If the change is made permanent, delivery vehicles will still be able to access businesses down that road, it has been confirmed.
The plans propose to remove the parking bays outside Ashtons and the Mariners restaurant, the Old Salthouse Hotel and by the University of Suffolk, which will be replaced with a new footway.
Bollards, benches and planters will then be put in place to prevent parking in those areas.
Bike racks were installed at the end of 2020 as part of efforts across town to improve cycle storage for visitors and shoppers.
The council is also planning to make the closure of the left-turn access road from College Street onto Bridge Street permanent.