Options for change for new road
IPSWICH port is expanding – and it's generating an increasing amount of heavy traffic.At present lorries have two ways in and out of the port – along Landseer Road, through a residential area, or around the old dock roads which split Ipswich Waterfront from the town centre.
By Paul Geater
IPSWICH port is expanding – and it's generating an increasing amount of heavy traffic.
At present lorries have two ways in and out of the port – along Landseer Road, through a residential area, or around the old dock roads which split Ipswich Waterfront from the town centre.
Nearly everyone recognises that new roads need to be built to make it easier for this heavy traffic to get away from town on the A14 – but where should they go?
Ipswich council has included two possible routes in its new local plan – on the east bank and west bank of the River Orwell.
Both have their supporters. Both have their opponents.
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The west bank route, which would include a bridge over the New Cut of the river and the lock gates into the Wet Dock itself, is the preferred option of council planning officials who produced the draft local plan.
But that will be considered alongside the east bank route – favoured by Ipswich port bosses and property developers anxious to open up derelict land near the Greenwich area of the town.
These are the arguments in what is likely to become one of the hottest talking points in the town this year.
East Bank Route.
IT'S the most direct route. Most of the port expansion is on the east side of the river at Cliff Quay.
As the most direct route, it would take almost all the lorries that currently use Landseer Road/Nacton Road away from these residential streets.
It would allow a largely-derelict area of Greenwich to be developed – providing a number of jobs in one of the most deprived areas of Suffolk.
It would damage the environment. Although it would not actually pass through Piper's Vale, it would go very close to it – the road would also pass near valuable mudflats near the River Orwell.
It would pass through former allotments off Morland Road which are now classified as a nature reserve – although supporters of the road point out this has only been classified as a nature reserve over the last few years.
The road would be a fast route from the A14 to the town centre, putting more pressure on the Duke Street roundabout and the roads around the Waterfront.
Who favours the East Bank route?
Residents of the Wherstead Road area, who don't want a west bank link road.
Residents of Landseer Road and Nacton Road who see the east bank link as the road best able to take heavy lorries away from their roads.
Property developer Samuel Beadie: they have offered to build a road, called the Gainsborough Link, in return for permission to build a new retail park on the site of the former Volvo depot.
Ipswich Port, which sees the east bank link as the best way of getting lorries to and from the Cliff Quay terminal.
The Ipswich Society, which sees the road as the best way of clearing port traffic from the town centre and believes it will help regenerate a deprived area.
Who is opposed to the East Bank route?
Environmentalists who don't want to see any damage to Piper's Vale or nearby nature reserves.
The Suffolk Wildlife Trust, which sees a road as very damaging to the ecology of the area.
Residents of Morland Road who currently overlook allotments and nature reserves – and who don't want to have a new road in their line of sight.
WEST BANK ROUTE WITH BRIDGE OVER RIVER:
IT would not require a new junction on to the A14, traffic could use the existing road into the West Bank Terminal and Wherstead Hill.
It would not cause serious environmental damage.
It would take dock traffic away from the Waterfront road network.
The port doesn't want a public road over its land – it would fight any attempt to take away its land and as a statutory body a compulsory purchase order would be very difficult to obtain.
A bridge over the lock gates would be very expensive – and would be closed to traffic for half an hour every time a vessel wanted to pass through. During the summer, the bridge could be closed to traffic for most of the time.
Even if the road was built, many lorries would be tempted to take the quickest route from the docks to the A14 – along Landseer Road and Nacton Road.
It would sever the rail link at the west bank terminal.
Who favours the West Bank route?
Environmentalists who recognise that a new road to the docks is needed, but don't want any damage to Piper's Vale.
Residents of Morland Road who don't want a road spoiling their view.
Who opposes the West Bank route?
Wherstead Road residents who don't want another road passing the back of their homes as well as the front.
Landseer Road residents who don't think it will be used by lorries using the Cliff Quay terminal.
Ipswich port owners ABP who won't allow a new public road to be built over their land on the west bank of the river.