Northern bypass idea gets boost

HOPES of tackling congestion around Ipswich by building a northern bypass have received a boost after Suffolk's transport chief revealed he is not opposed to the idea.

HOPES of tackling congestion around Ipswich by building a northern bypass have received a boost after Suffolk's transport chief revealed he is not opposed to the idea.

Ipswich Borough Council has included the idea of a northern bypass of the town - linking the A14 north of Ipswich with the A12 in Martlesham - as part of a new vision for the future of the town.

The hope is the new road would ease the pressure on the route over the Orwell Bridge by offering people travelling to the east of the county an alternative route.

However, despite being keen on the idea, the route of the bypass would be outside the borough council's area and the scheme is so big it would have to be government-led.


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This means the council is keen to get the support of other bodies to get high-level backing for the project.

Guy Macgregor, responsible for transport at Suffolk County Council, said if such a scheme is put on the table the county council will consider backing it.

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He said such a construction would prompt a public inquiry - much like the current work on the Haughley Bends but added that the county council will “keep an open mind” if it is called on to make representations that could influence a decision.

However he did add that he believes it would take many years before a firm proposal could be put together by the Highways Agency.

He said: “Central government has made no money available to the region and it is very difficult to see in the short term what can be achieved.

“There are so many other issues in Suffolk that need to be resolved.”

Paul West, responsible for transport at Ipswich Borough Council, said his authority is re-igniting the idea of a northern bypass as it is a possible long-term solution to growing congestion problems around Ipswich.

He said: “I think the northern bypass is the one key major road scheme in this area that needs to be put on the table and given consideration.

“It really should be funded by central government - that is where the funding needs to come from.”

Mr Macgregor's latest comments mark a shift in stance from back in 2005 when he told The Evening Star commented that it “wasn't realistic” to consider a bypass north of Ipswich after government rejected the idea in the early 90s.

n.Do you think a northern bypass of Ipswich should be supported? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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