Pedestrianisation of Queen Street in Ipswich on the way – but could still take another year
- Credit: Archant
Work to pedestrianise Queen Street and turn it into a new home for Ipswich market is back on the calendar – but could still take a further year to complete.
Suffolk County council has linked up with the borough and Ipswich Central to promote a scheme that will see traffic banned and facilities for the town’s market installed into the rebuilt road.
Prince’s Street traffic flow will be reversed and it will be paved as part of the rebuilding scheme.
The changes to the roads were originally included in Travel Ipswich but were dropped from that scheme after it became clear that their inclusion would delay its completion even further.
The traffic orders needed to complete the Queen Street/Prince’s Street scheme are due to be published in February. If there are no objections work should start in the early summer and be finished by Christmas.
However if there are objections the scheme would then be delayed until a meeting of the county council’s rights of way committee in June.
That would mean the earliest work could start would be in the autumn of this year. With the work taking a least six months to complete, it would lead to a fourth successive Christmas blighted by town centre roadworks, even if construction is suspended during the height of the festive season.
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The paving at Queen Street will include installing power supplies that can be used by market stalls and this is seen as a natural extension to the Ipswich market.
It could also be a home to the stalls when the long-awaited redevelopment of the Cornhill gets under way.
Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “This area in the centre of town is extremely important to the Ipswich economy, and to the much needed link between the principal shopping area and the waterfront.
“We have worked closely with Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Central in the planning and implementing of the scheme, and we continue to engage with them to ensure all aspects of the scheme are well thought out and addressed.
“I look forward to seeing the benefit these improvements will bring to shoppers, businesses and local residents, whether they’re cycling, walking or driving into the town.”
Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said: “This is much more than just pedestrianising Queen Street. It’s putting in the services for the market and creating a real link from the town centre to St Nicholas Street and the walk to the Waterfront.
“Hopefully once this is done we can go ahead and look at re-invigorating the Cornhill.”
A statement from Ipswich Central said: “We have led business support for the Queen Street improvement scheme. Many will see the announcement today to commission this work as some compensation for the disruption that ‘Travel Ipswich’ has caused for the town.
“However, the priority for transforming the retail heart of Ipswich remains the Cornhill project. We say ‘yes’ to Queen Street, but not at the expense of the Cornhill which brings untold regenerative possibilities with it.”
How will this affect the Cornhill plans? See here for more