Poll: Ipswich is ready for the arrival of Christmas as bus station reopens, roadworks are halted and lights are switched on
Engineers are today putting the final touches to road schemes in Ipswich to ensure everything is clear for the arrival of the festive shopping season.
The town’s Christmas lights, including the sparkling artificial tree on the Cornhill, are being switched on at the end of shopping on Sunday afternoon.
However for many retailers the celebrations will start first thing tomorrow when the Tower Ramparts bus station reopens and vehicles can use Museum Street again.
Contractors working on the Travel Ipswich project have met the deadline imposed by Suffolk County Council to ensure the town centre is clear of roadworks for Christmas.
The only roadworks that might affect traffic in Ipswich town centre over the Christmas period are any emergency works that may be needed by utility companies.
Work to complete the £21million Travel Ipswich project is due to resume in the new year with resurfacing and upgrades to traffic lights the main schemes still to be completed.
Travel Ipswich is due to be completed by the early part of next year when all the computer-linked traffic lights become fully operational in a bid to speed vehicles to and through the town centre.
In the meantime, traders are hoping for a bumper Sunday as festive entertainment builds up during the afternoon – it has become one of the busiest shopping days of the week over recent years.
Shops in the town centre close on Sundays between 4pm and 5pm – that is the time that entertainment will build up on the Cornhill.
The lights will be switched on by the stars of this year’s Ipswich Regent pantomime, Peter Pan.
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The big switch-on should be the start of a busy festive season for retailers and other businesses in the town centre – and heralds the start of a number of special events.
Late night shopping starts next Thursday, with free park and ride services from 3pm, and the Quids In promotion has been extended at the borough’s car parks and on Ipswich Buses.
There are also a number of other events during the run-up to Christmas including a continental-style market next weekend.
There are events in the town centre each weekend during the run-up to Christmas as businesses work hard to attract shoppers from both Ipswich and Suffolk generally to the town.