MP 'convinced' inner bypass route is best option for Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 05:31 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 07:59 16 September 2019
Ipswich MP Sandy Martin has declared his position in the debate over the northern bypass, saying he "strongly supports" the option of an "inner route" as consultation for the controversial road draws to a close.
In a lengthy letter addressed to leader of Suffolk County Council, Matthew Hicks, the Labour MP discussed the issues surrounding the bypass before confirming his support for the inner route, which would see the road built closer to Ipswich that the other two alternatives being considered.
He also said that refusing the bypass at this stage would be 'short-sighted and damaging'.
Mr Martin had previously confirmed he was behind the concept of a northern bypass to ease traffic in Ipswich but has now confirmed that he is 'convinced' the inner route is the only one of the three proposed that meets the objectives of the bypass.
In the consultation letter the Westminster politician listed three main reasons as to why he believed the road is needed including the need for and alternate route to Norwich Road to the north west of the town, the severe congestion in Chevallier Street and the town centre, and the closures of the A14 south of Ipswich causing serious disruption.
He also said that he 'cannot see any merit' in supporting the middle route but did admit that the contention that the road will create additional traffic had 'some merit'.
Concluding his statement, Mr Martin said alternative travel options for journeys in Ipswich would 'have to be pursued' even if the Bypass does not go ahead.
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The letter comes just days after hundreds of Ipswich locals marched through the town to hand a petition to Mr Hicks with 4,500 signatures opposing the northern bypass.
The group of 400 protesters gathered at Cornhill before walking to Endeavour House with flags and placards.
One of the protesters was Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter.
He said: "This is an issue I feel very strongly about - there is no justification for this road. It will not ease congestion in Ipswich. It is simply being promoted to allow more houses to be built.
"I am really pleased by the response - and I have had people coming up to me as we came down here who weren't on the march and live in Ipswich, and say they don't want the road either. I hope the councils listen to us.