Petition formed over Orwell Bridge toll

HUNDREDS of people are signing a petition launched by a Felixstowe businessman against the possibility of tolls being imposed on the Orwell Bridge.Barber Jim Adams is furious at the idea - and says people are popping into his shop all the time to add their names to the protest.

HUNDREDS of people are signing a petition launched by a Felixstowe businessman against the possibility of tolls being imposed on the Orwell Bridge.

Barber Jim Adams is furious at the idea - and says people are popping into his shop all the time to add their names to the protest.

“I could not believe the idea had been suggested, and many people I have spoken to in the past couple of weeks are just as angry about the prospect,” said Mr Adams, whose barber shop is in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.

“I know it is just one of a long list of suggestions for the A14, but I thought we must do something to make our voice heard so this doesn't get taken any further.

“It's not just customers who are signing the petition, lots of people are just popping in off the street and asking to sign.”

The idea of charging a toll for driving over the Orwell Bridge is on a long list of possible solutions to growing problems of traffic on the A14 and in Ipswich.

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Other ideas include road charging in Ipswich, a northern bypass or widening the bridge or adding an extra crossing.

Community leaders in Felixstowe have been outraged at the possibility of tolls and the knock-on effect any changes to the dual carriageway could have on the resort.

Mr Adams said: “It is ridiculous. Can you imagine having to pay several pounds every time you go over the Orwell Bridge?

“It would mean some people having to pay twice a day just to go to work, or go shopping, or visit Felixstowe. People would not pay it - they would simply try and go through Ipswich instead and clog that up even more.”

Consultants Atkins, agents for the Highways Agency, are currently consulting county, district town and parish councils on a “long list” of potential solutions which cover a wide range of possibilities.

“It is important to note that the list has been compiled so as to be as wide-ranging as possible. The aim is to ensure that all potential interventions are considered at this stage and not to make any pre-judgements to ensure that all are given fair consideration,” said Atkins.

What do you think of charging a toll to cross the Orwell Bridge, or road pricing in Ipswich? What's the answer to the problems in the town and on the A14? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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