Money found to improve junction

IPSWICH: Work to try to ease one of the worst bottlenecks in Ipswich should start later this year after millions of pounds was found to improve the road.

The Duke Street roundabout is set to disappear - to be replaced by a new set of traffic lights.

The �3.5 million scheme was included in the county council’s budget for the coming financial year - and is not part of the under-threat �25 million scheme to improve public transport in Ipswich.

A question mark now hovers over that scheme because of the threat of future government spending cuts across the public sector.

Work on the Duke Street junction should start in the summer, said county councillor with responsibility for transport Guy McGregor.

He said: “The money for that has come from a different pot from government and it is all there. We have just a few design issues to iron out and we will be ready to get going.

“I certainly hope we can start work in the summer and it should be completed by the end of the year.”

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He remains concerned that the “Ipswich fit for the 21st century” scheme that is still awaiting government funding could fall victim to budget cuts.

He said: “We have been pressing Whitehall on that because it is just the kind of scheme that the government says it wants to see develop. But we are getting increasingly concerned as there is still no money coming for it.”

However a scheme that is set to go ahead in the town is the move of the county’s highways depot from Great Blakenham to the former P&O - and the county has managed to reduce the cost of this move.

When it was first proposed last year, the cost was estimated at �4.5 million. Now they expect the work to be completed for �3.4 million.

Mr McGregor said: “We have managed to cut the costs here and there and it seems as if the scheme will be considerably less expensive than first thought.”

The move could lead to the Blakenham site becoming a waste incinerator - or an extension to the Highways agency depot next door.