MPs vow to tackle traffic congestion in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 07:30 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:43 09 March 2020
Ipswich’s two MPs are to share the chair of the new taskforce that is being set up to look at ways of easing traffic problems in the town.
Tom Hunt and Dr Dan Poulter are to share the chair of the new group that is being set up by Suffolk County Council to look at new ways of preventing congestion and persuading more people to find other ways of getting around the town following the decision not to proceed with proposals for a new northern bypass.
Although Ipswich MP Mr Hunt and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Poulter are both Conservatives, they took opposite positions on the northern route debate - and by rotating the chair the county hopes that the taskforce will be seen as neutral on the most pressing issue it is likely to consider.
Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council said: "As I made clear during Cabinet when discussing this new task force, I felt we needed someone from outside the county council, with the energy and enthusiasm to lead and drive this important work forward.
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"I am delighted that both Tom Hunt MP and Dr Dan Poulter MP, as Members of Parliament representing Ipswich, have supported the idea of the task force and have both shown an interest in leading it. I am, therefore, pleased to appoint Tom as the first chair of the task force for the first phase on a rotating basis with Dan.
"Terms of reference and decisions around wider membership are still to be decided upon, but with the appointment of its first Chairman, the taskforce is now able to start this important work for Ipswich."
Dr Poulter said: "This is an important body to look at the future of traffic in the town and I'm delighted to share the chair with Tom. Although only a small part of the borough itself is in my constituency, I represent about 50,000 people who live or work in the greater Ipswich area - and for whom traffic problems are very important."
The county will have two councillors on the taskforce and it is expected there will also be two from Ipswich council - and also some from Babergh, East Suffolk and Mid Suffolk councils.
And there are also likely to be representatives from the business community to ensure that its needs are considered in any proposals.