Roundabout problem for park and ride

AS someone who has always championed the concept of park and ride, I was sorry to see that the Martlesham scheme has been such a flop.Apparently few people are using it, and it is set to make a big loss which will have to be made up by council tax receipts.

AS someone who has always championed the concept of park and ride, I was sorry to see that the Martlesham scheme has been such a flop.

Apparently few people are using it, and it is set to make a big loss which will have to be made up by council tax receipts.

At first I found this difficult to understand.

It's on the opposite side of Ipswich from the first two park and rides and there are a lot of people from Woodbridge and beyond who come into Ipswich to work or go to the shops.


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It should be ideal to them.

So why aren't they using it?

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I was speaking to someone who should be an ideal park and ride customer the other day.

They live near Woodbridge, and aren't that keen on driving.

But they wouldn't dream of using park and ride because its entry is off the Martlesham roundabout.

"I wouldn't dream of going near that roundabout," I was told. "And many more drivers feel the same.

"There are so many lights, signs, and direction arrows painted on the roads that it is far too confusing. Why there isn't an accident there every day I don't know."

Instead people are taking side roads into Ipswich, either through villages to the north or to the east.

It does seem that the environment and transport department of Suffolk County Council doesn't feel it's doing its job unless it shoves another two useless traffic lights on the A1214 between Ipswich and Martlesham every six months.

Well, I've got news for them. Their plot has worked! More and more drivers are abandoning the "main road" into Ipswich and taking to the sideroads to avoid the abomination they have created.

So instead of cars coming in along what has always been a main road, they're now taking their own diversions and shifting the congestion to Bealings, Playford, Tuddenham, and Westerfield.

And meanwhile the road network is too confusing for people to find the council's only solution to the congestion problem!

A WEEK today Suffolk County Council will be holding its first meeting in the new council chamber at Endeavour House.

When I was shown this new addition to the council's new headquarters the other day, I still had to dodge painters putting the final touches to it.

And while it is certainly futuristic inside, it has a harshness to it which does feel rather intimidating.

Of course it may feel completely different when it is full of people – but somehow I have my doubts.

The old council chamber at County Hall was a dreadful place to hear and see what was going on, but I'm far from convinced that this will be a whole lot better.

It was, of course, an afterthought once the building had been almost finished – it's a great pity there wasn't time to develop a more welcoming chamber.

It would have been good if the architects had looked around at some of the other council chambers in the area – especially towards Babergh council at Hadleigh.

That has a chamber which is modern and functional – you can hear every word, even from the terminal mumblers.

Yet it still feels warm and welcoming and you don't feel as if you're trapped in an alien spaceship once you walk in.

I do hope I'm proved wrong once the chamber comes into use, but warm and welcoming aren't adjectives that immediately spring to mind when you walk into Suffolk's new council chamber.

WITH elections just a few weeks away, we've been inundated with letters from councillors and candidates telling us how wonderful their party is and how rubbish the others are

I have a message to you all: we aren't fooled by them. We can spot blatant electioneering a mile off!

Especially when the letters seem to have been written to a formula churned out by the spin doctors in London – for instance the rant from one senior Labour councillor telling us about Michael Howard's history.

He's been around long enough to know that we know exactly what to do with such letters that don't contain a single original thought – they end up in the bin!

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