Oui to boulevard

RESIDENTS of Wherstead Road have given a positive reaction to proposals to turn the road into an attractive boulevard – but don't see how such a move will reduce traffic.

RESIDENTS of Wherstead Road have given a positive reaction to proposals to turn the road into an attractive boulevard – but don't see how such a move will reduce traffic.

The proposals are part of a major improvement scheme for the road – which would include partial paving, creating residents' parking spaces, and planting trees at the roadside.

"The plans sound very nice, and would certainly make it look nicer – but I can't see how it would reduce the amount of traffic," said local resident and campaigner Des Pawson.

"That will only happen if they put the cars and lorries somewhere else – and at present there are no plans to build any new roads.

"The West Bank relief road, which would have been a disaster, and the east bank route have been removed from the proposals."

Fellow campaigner Bob Blastock agreed that any changes would not reduce the amount of traffic on the road.

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"About 16,000 vehicles use this road every day – it is a main road into the town centre.

"Without any new roads being built this road will still be used by those vehicles – they've got nowhere else to go."

Wherstead Road is sign-posted as the main route into central Ipswich for traffic from Felixstowe and the east on the A14.

It is used by many motorists as the shortest route from the town centre to the A14 wherever they are going.

One business on Wherstead Road paying special attention to the plans is the Live and Let Live pub. Landlady Tracey Aldred is currently struggling to attract more customers to the pub – and sees the proposals as a double-edged sword.

"I would be worried if anything was done to reduce the amount of traffic, because we rely a great deal on passing trade – especially at lunchtimes. "We get a lot of lorry drivers coming in for a meal," she said.

But the heavy traffic also meant there was no real community spirit in the area.

"You don't get children running about on the pavement here, and you don't get many local people wandering out and coming down to the pub.

"So from that point of view if the road was made more attractive it might help us – but no one crosses the road on foot, it is just too dangerous," she said.

Cook Lorraine Barham said: "We have tried so hard to attract people, but it is very difficult – we do special pensioners' lunch on Wednesdays – but this week no one came," she said.

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