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New opponent for Town captain Luke Chambers - the Ipswich northern bypass

PUBLISHED: 19:00 03 September 2019

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers has backed calls to abandon plans for a northern bypass for Ipswich. Picture: ALASTAIR DICK

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers has backed calls to abandon plans for a northern bypass for Ipswich. Picture: ALASTAIR DICK

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Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers has taken on a new challenge - he's joined the campaign to oppose plans for a new northern bypass.

Chambers, who lives to the north of the town, joined campaigners at a meeting in Rushmere St Andrew on Monday evening and had this photograph taken with a poster protesting about the proposed road.

He was training with his Town colleagues on Tuesday, but issued a statement through the club saying that he was strongly opposed to proposals for a new road across the north of the town and their impact on the countryside.

The meeting should have been addressed by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter, a keen opponent of the road plans, but he was called back to London because of the Brexit crisis.

He was pleased to hear that the ITFC captain had given the campaign his support - and said it helped show the wide range of local residents who were concerned about the proposals.

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The Rushmere meeting was one of several that have been arranged over the last few week during the consultation programme to find which of three routes for a new road would have most support.

That continues until September 13, after which the responses will be analysed and the consortium of local councils led by Suffolk County Council will have to decide whether to go ahead with one of the possible schemes.

There is no official word on the cost of any scheme, although Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey, who also opposes the project, said she had been told the figure would be between £500m and £560m - and she believes it could cost considerably more than that.

While most villages and towns to the north of Ipswich have opposed the proposals, the idea of a new northern by-pass has widespread cross-party support in the county town.

Labour-led Ipswich council and the town's Labour MP Sandy Martin are in favour of the inner route for the road - as is Conservative parliamentary candidate Tom Hunt.

He has urged the county council and other authorities to abandon the proposals for the outer and middle roads to reassure residents in the areas they would pass through, and concentrate on building a case for the inner route for the new road.

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