Roundabout way of looking at traffic

ONE of busiest roundabouts in Ipswich could be turned into a Roman-style piazza in an attempt to link two sections of the town.Prince's Street roundabout, which links with Civic Drive outside the Willis building, could be flattened and be paved over to provide a better link between the town centre and Ipswich Village.

ONE of busiest roundabouts in Ipswich could be turned into a Roman-style piazza in an attempt to link two sections of the town.

Prince's Street roundabout, which links with Civic Drive outside the Willis building, could be flattened and be paved over to provide a better link between the town centre and Ipswich Village.

The underground labrynth of subways could be sealed up with pedestrian crossings across Civic Drive and on the south side of Prince's Street.

Traffic would be controlled by lights - with priority given to buses and emergency vehicles.

The move would be likely to provoke anger from many motorists worried about increasing traffic congestion in the town centre.

But borough council chiefs believe their fears are exagerated and believe that: “We cannot sacrifice the town centre to the car.”

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When the idea of closing the subway was floated on the Evening Star's website through the Edblog, there was a strong reaction from readers.

It provoked the biggest response of any blog on the site - the overwhelming majority of writers were opposed to closing the subway, fearing it would cause more congestion if there were road crossings.

Council environment and transport spokeswoman Inga Lockington said the council was anxious to avoid anything that would create more congestion - but accepted that the area was not attractive for pedestrians.

“There are no easy solutions there. It is an important junction and we would not want to make it too much of a bottleneck.

“Ipswich already has many difficulties with its road network - with the river and the railway lines. There is a limit to what you can do.”

But Labour environment and transport spokesman Phil Smart confirmed that big changes to the junction were under discussion.

He said: “In the past the solution to mixing cars and pedestrians was to shove the pedestrians under ground.

“But that is no good for the area, and the council has engaged consultants Urban Initiatives to look at alternatives.

“This could be to remove the roundabout and install traffic lights at the junction. Then you could have lanes for buses and taxis and have a pedestrian crossing which is much better than the current poor underpass,” he said.

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