Pledge to complete Giles’ Circus upgrade works before Ipswich Christmas lights switch on

Roadworks at Giles Circus.

Roadworks at Giles Circus. - Credit: Archant

Work to rebuild the Princes Street/Queen Street area in Ipswich town centre is now centred on Giles’ Circus – but county chiefs have promised this will be clear by the time the Christmas lights go on next month.

Suffolk county council teams are rebuilding the road at the Circus – which was only created six years ago – as part of a bid to make the roads in the area more pedestrian friendly.

They are also installing services in Queen Street to allow the area to become home to market stalls on a more regular basis.

Much of Giles’ Circus is currently fenced off to pedestrians, but a spokesman for the county said there would be no disruption to the Christmas shopping season.

He said: “We will ensure the work there is complete by the time the lights are switched on. There might be a small compound closed off because the teams will be returning to finish Queen Street in the new year, but the main area will be cleared.”

The town’s Christmas lights are to be switched on by mayor Roger Fern on Thursday, November 17, the first late-night shopping evening in the town centre.

The Giles’ Circus/Queen Street area will also be home to the Ipswich Christmas Market on the second weekend of December – from the 9th to the 11th.

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Once the Christmas and New Year sales period has passed, work will get on with completing the paving of Queen Street and turning it into a pedestrian area.

This will then form part of the main pedestrian-friendly route from the Cornhill to the Waterfront.

The work will include a new pedestrian-friendly junction between Queen Street, Falcon Street and St Nicholas Street in a bid to persuade more pedestrians to combine visits to the town centre with a trip to the Waterfront.

Although originally part of the Travel Ipswich programme, this scheme was redesigned to make it more pedestrian-friendly, and it is expected to be integrated closely with the remodelling of the Cornhill itself which is due to be completed in two years’ time.