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Organisers vow improved communication over Ipswich road closures for Great East Run 2018

PUBLISHED: 17:54 13 June 2018

The first Simplyhealth Great East Run in Ipswich  Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The first Simplyhealth Great East Run in Ipswich Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

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“Vastly improved” forewarning of road closures for events in Ipswich is needed this year, a new report has said.

Organisers said road closures for the Great East Run will be better communicated in 2018 Picture: ANDY ABBOTTOrganisers said road closures for the Great East Run will be better communicated in 2018 Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

A document published by Ipswich Borough Council, which is being presented to its area committees for discussion, outlined the road closures planned for September’s Great East Run.

In it, the council said that one of the biggest areas of improvement identified from last year was “the need for vastly improved engagement with residents and businesses affected by the event and especially the road closures”.

Concerns were raised last year by homes and businesses in Cliff Lane when they found out about the road closures just days before the even when road closure warning signs were put up.

A Great East Run spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to work closely with Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council to minimise disruption to local residents and businesses.

“2017 was the first staging of the event and we will ensure that learnings and feedback are incorporated into our plans for this year.

“Working closely with our traffic management company, information on road closures will be distributed sooner and more widely in 2018.”

Criticism was levelled at event organisers last year that no prior communication had been made over the proposed closures.

The Harvest Festival service at St Luke’s Church was moved to St Helen’s Church in Back Hamlet to allow people to get there, while a number of businesses felt more could have been done to inform them earlier.

A borough council spokesman said: “We welcome these events to Ipswich and we do want people to enjoy them but it is important that the organisers let local residents know in good time if there are going to be any road closures so they can make any plans.”

A county council spokeswoman added: “The event is hugely beneficial to the Suffolk economy and encourages people to become more active.

“We recognise that events of this nature can cause disruption to some people, however the organisers are working hard to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum and local communities and business are kept informed.”

Around 3,000 runners took to the closed roads to tackle the prestigious event, which is returning to Ipswich following its first appearance last year.

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