Northern Fringe bypass route could ignite old concerns over protection of the Fynn Valley

Possible sites in Suffolk for the proposed Northern by-pass.
River Fynn,Playford.

Possible sites in Suffolk for the proposed Northern by-pass. River Fynn,Playford. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Proposals to look again at building a northern bypass for Ipswich are set to reignite a heated debate that rumbled on for years during the 1990s.

The route proposed at that time was a dual carriageway from the A14 Whitehouse roundabout to the A12/A1214 roundabout at Martlesham.

The road would have run through the attractive Fynn Valley and would have run parallel to the East Suffolk rail line for part of its length.

It would have affected the villages of Westerfield, Tuddenham, Playford, and Bealings – and the countryside near Kesgrave.

When the road was proposed it prompted strong opposition from people living in the area.

At the time the villages were in the Suffolk Coastal constituency whose MP was then Secretary of State for the Environment John Gummer, now Lord Deben.

He supported the opposition to the road, which was eventually dropped.

However over recent years there have been increasing calls for the proposal to be resurrected to ease traffic pressure on the A14, especially when there are problems on the Orwell Bridge, which can force more vehicles through the town centre.

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The proposed development of 3,500 new homes on the northern fringe of Ipswich has also amplified these concerns and led to the announcement of the new feasibility study.

However any proposal to build a new road through the Fynn Valley and create a new by-pass is bound to prompt new opposition.

The villages are now in the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency of Dr Dan Poulter, who is worried about the impact of a new road.

He said: “I have serious concerns about the suggested route of the proposal and that a bypass would be hugely costly and could worsen already serious traffic flow and congestion issues on the stretch of the A12 south of Woodbridge approaching Kesgrave and Martlesham.

“Also in a time of tight funding, the four villages bypass and A12 improvements should be our priority road project, in my view.”