More road nightmares on the way

PUBLISHED: 00:55 10 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:54 02 March 2010

GAS infrastructure company Transco is set to add to Ipswich's summer traffic nightmare by digging up one of the most important roads in the town centre.

GAS infrastructure company Transco is set to add to Ipswich's summer traffic nightmare by digging up one of the most important roads in the town centre.

Crown Street is to be closed, to all but a trickle of traffic, for several weeks while the company repairs a gas main running underneath it.

The closure is likely to cause major disruption to traffic throughout the town centre.

It will also affect the Tower Ramparts bus station, the main hub for Ipswich Buses and other routes within the town boundary.

Work on the main was scheduled for the summer because that is traditionally the quietest time of the year around the town with families away on holiday for part of the time.

The work at the junction between Northgate Street, Fonnereau Road, Soane Street and Crown Street has been co-ordinated to ensure that it doesn't overlap with the inspection work on the Orwell Bridge.

It is due to start on July 18 and should be finished by September 5 – when children go back to school for the autumn term.

Ipswich Council transport spokeswoman Inga Lockington said: "During school holidays there is always much less traffic on the road, and this was very important for the timing of this work."

The council's head of transport services, Stephen Auld, said: "Transco have to do the work in the summer because that is when gas demand is at its lowest, and the mains they are replacing is the largest and most important in Ipswich.

"They have the right do dig up the road whenever they want or need to, but the council has been in long negotiations with them to try to ensure that the disruption is kept to a minimum – especially by avoiding the time when the Orwell Bridge is partially closed."

During the period from July to September, bus routes around the town centre which are normally closed to general traffic will also be closed to buses.

During the road closure buses from the north-west of Ipswich will continue to use Tower Ramparts Bus Station, most buses from the south-west of Ipswich will use the old Cattle Market Bus Station and buses from the east of Ipswich will drop passengers at Old Foundry Road or Major's Corner.

But the message for most motorists is clear – if you don't have to go through the centre of Ipswich, avoid the area during most of the summer!

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