SnOasis opponents' transport fears

TRANSPORT issues dominated today's discussions when the SnOasis public inquiry resumed at Ipswich town hall.

TRANSPORT issues dominated today's discussions when the SnOasis public inquiry resumed at Ipswich town hall.

Speakers for the opponents of the proposed huge winter leisure development told the inquiry, chaired by Inspector John Gray, that the developments would add thousands of extra vehicles on to the area's already busy roads.

Consultant transport engineer Simon Blinkhorne told the inquiry that the traffic figures produced by the developers were open to serious doubts.

He said that although the applicants had reached agreements with the Highways Agency and Suffolk County Council about traffic movements, the figures they were using may be an underestimate.

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He said: “These agreements are based on a precise annual visitor number drilled down to a Friday in February, together with an assumed daily visitor arrival and departure profile to represent an alleged robust case.

“It is my view that, (with) annual visitor numbers above those assumed or if the profile of traffic arriving and departing from the development is significantly different, then this would undermine the agreements.”

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Mr Blinkhorne said that higher visitor numbers or a concentration of traffic movement at busy times would have a much greater impact on nearby roads.

“This would lead to already identified deficiencies on the network becoming worse, resulting in greater congestion than has thus far been identified by the applicants,” he said.

Mr Blinkhorne warned that more traffic could be forced on to smaller roads, especially the B1113 from Blakenham to Sproughton as drivers tried to avoid congestion on the main roads.

Earlier the inquiry had heard from Blakenham resident Debbie Parker who lives in Chapel Lane. She told the inquiry that residents feared SnOasis, a proposed Persimmon housing development, and the proposed new railway station would bring much more traffic to that part of the village making the roads more congested and more dangerous.

The inquiry continues.

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