Ipswich’s Bramford Lane closed to traffic – but not for cycling masterplan
PUBLISHED: 11:30 01 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:14 01 September 2020
One of the main cycle routes in Ipswich has been closed to motor vehicles – but the move has nothing to do with trying to encourage more people on to their bikes.
Bramford Lane has been closed between Chevallier Street and All Saints Road for work by City Fibre, which is installing new high speed broadband around the town.
But it is due to reopen to cars a week on Friday – meaning cyclists will once again have to dodge rat-running motorists on part of National Cycle Route 51.
Suffolk County Council had proposed to strengthen the National Cycle Route by closing the Bramford Lane bridge to motor vehicles.
However, it changed its mind after lobbying from motorists – leaving the west of Ipswich with far fewer cycle-friendly measures than there are in the east of the town.
The county is hoping to improve facilities for cyclists across the town – but has not come up with any specific new proposals after the emergency changes that were brought in during the lockdown.
There are expected to be consultations on a new round of improvements for cyclists over the next few months, with proposals to introduce the changes in spring next year - by which time more people should be dusting off their cycles again.
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Changes have been greeted with mixed views from road users. Cyclists have welcomed the closures of most rat runs to motor vehicles – and these moves have also been welcomed by residents, who are no longer faced with through traffic going past their front doors.
Many cyclists have, however, been critical of the temporary bollards that have been placed on some roads, including Valley Road and Colchester Road - because they say they do not offer great protection and make it difficult for cyclists who want to overtake a slower cyclist in front of them.
Motorists have been frustrated by some of the road closures which force them to take longer journeys – or stay in traffic rather than finding a rat-run through smaller streets.
However, there is still less traffic on the roads after lockdown – meaning that, for most drivers, there is still not a serious congestion problem. That might change as more people return to work over the next few months.
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