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No easy solution to port traffic problem

PUBLISHED: 10:55 21 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

THE more I hear about traffic proposals for the area around Ipswich docks, the more concerned I feel for the future of this vital area of the town.

Ipswich Council and Associated British Ports seem to be set on a collision course that could leave us with no changes to the road system in the area in a reasonable timescale.

THE more I hear about traffic proposals for the area around Ipswich docks, the more concerned I feel for the future of this vital area of the town.

Ipswich Council and Associated British Ports seem to be set on a collision course that could leave us with no changes to the road system in the area in a reasonable timescale.

The council's new Local Plan sees the East Bank Route as a "last resort," to be tried only when all other options have failed.

Ipswich Port bosses will not consider the council's preferred option of a West Bank Route – and if the council wants to press the case they'll take it all the way.

I wouldn't like to bet on who would win a struggle between those two behemoths!

What is certain, no matter who eventually wins the argument, road improvements to make access to the port easier will be delayed . . . and delayed. . . and delayed!

Frankly the people living on Landseer Road and Wherstead Road need some relief from the traffic problems they face.

The people who use Piper's Vale and the Orwell Country Park need some assurance that this important countryside will be there for future generations.

And port users and those employed there need some certainty that this will be allowed to thrive and not be strangled by lack of access.

It's about time everyone woke up to the crisis that is foreshadowed in the current proposals for the port.

Now is the time for people to take action to make their voice heard.

Otherwise the planners at Civic Centre and their political masters will plough on regardless – and we could be left with an almighty mess.

On a similar subject, the glee with which the borough has embraced the idea of a new B and Q superstore – even though there's a Homebase just a short distance away – is very interesting.

Could it be the park and ride money they're dangling in front of the council.

Or could it be that the borough planners think a new B and Q superstore at Ransomes will scupper plans for a new retail park funding a new East Bank link road?

I'd love to know the real answer!

TODAY really is the end of an era for Ipswich Labour Party. It's John Mowles' last day as secretary/agent of the Party after 25 years.

Mr Mowles really has been at the centre of the town's political activity for a generation – he's seen triumph in 1997, 2001, and against the odds in 1983.

He's also seen disaster in 1987 when Ken Weetch lost the seat to Conservative Michael Irvine.

Mr Mowles is very passionate about his politics and he's used that passion to turn the Ipswich Labour Party into a mean fighting machine.

There have been times when he has locked horns with The Star – once or twice threatening never to speak to us again.

In fact one of these occasions was just a few days before everyone was expecting a general election to be called.

The election was duly called . . . and the first call we got at the Star was from Mr Mowles inviting us over to talk to him about how the Labour Party could provide news to us during the campaign!

I've often been berated by Mr Mowles for something I've written if he didn't like it – but he's always been one of the first to come up and say he enjoyed something else.

He's Ipswich born and bred, and he certainly won't be disappearing from the town's political scene.

He will be remaining a councillor and hopes to be re-elected in next May's elections – so we haven't seen the last of him!

His successor in Silent Street, John Cook, has a new MP to work with so the Ipswich Labour Party will never quite be the same again.

AS we come to the season of peace and goodwill to all men, it's good to see that the Treasury in London have marked it in their own special way.

They've told councils that they can't have as much as they need from the government next year.

Mid Suffolk has already warned that its council tax bills will have to increase by more than the rate of inflation next year.

Who said the days of Ebenezer Scrooge are long gone?


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