Radical proposals to get Ipswich moving from anti-bypass campaigners
PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 March 2020
The group that led the successful campaign against plans for a northern bypass for Ipswich has now launched its new bid to get the town’s traffic moving with the publication of a manifesto calling for more work on encouraging cycling and the use of public transport.
Start! Ipswich Moving has developed out of the Stop! The Ipswich Northern Bypass group - and is planning to feed in results of research it has done into traffic in the town to the new taskforce that has been set up to look at traffic in Ipswich.
Nick Green, one of the founders of the campaign, worked closely with Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter to oppose the planned new road - and hopes to continue that work as Dr Poulter is one of the co-chairs of the new taskforce.
Among their suggestions are reopening the Bury Road Park and Ride, developing more centres around the edge of town, reducing the number of town centre parking spaces and introducing congestion charging for vehicles going into the town centre at peak hours.
And it points out that Ipswich lags behind other East Anglian cities in the number of cycles on the road. According to DfT statistics, in 2015, 3.5% of adults in Ipswich cycled regularly to work. In contrast, 6.7% of adults in Norwich and 24.6% of adults in Cambridge cycled to work.
The campaign is also launching a petition calling for Highways England to speed up its work to ensure that the Orwell Bridge is able to remain open during high winds by reducing the speed of traffic.
Mr Green said: 'We have been doing a lot of work that was prepared before the taskforce was announced and we hope to be able to feed into its work over the next few months.
'We need to reduce the amount of traffic coming into the town, but also to make life easier for cyclists and public transport operators. That should hopefully make life easier for those who do not use cars to get everywhere.'
And it was vital to get improvements made the to Orwell Bridge: 'It seems that it would be possible to keep all traffic using it on most of the occasions when it is currently closed. We want to get a petition up from both Ipswich and Felixstowe calling on Highways England to get on and take those measures now so we don't have the same problems next winter.'
The group has 14 suggested steps as a Suggested Quick Strategy Fix for Ipswich:
1- Reopen Bury Road Park & Ride.
2- Ensure all Park & Rides open seven days a week until late.
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3- Ensure that sufficient of the closed parking spaces are replicated in Park & Ride places before closing in town.
4- Close car parks in Ipswich at same time as opening new Park n Rides.
5- Make Park & Rides easier to find and get into (with easier, quicker access off main roads).
6- Make sure they are better sign posted and better marketed and advertised.
7- Re-allocate non-critical roads in Ipswich to cycling and pedestrian only, where appropriate.
8- Make some roads in Ipswich one-way only, with cycling in both directions and cycle lane prioritised.
9- Congestion charge from 8am to 10am and 4pm to 6pm for all traffic inside an agreed congestion zone.
10- Increase parking charges in those car parks left in Ipswich to make them short stay.
11- No planning permission for new car parks.
12 - Charge extra council tax to companies providing parking spaces for employees, as such land could be better utilised for commercial or housing purposes.
13 - Re-introduce cut services and subsidies on bus services for school children to take rush hour school runs off the roads- school buses must be cheaper than public transport or there's not point to it. If not, public transport would instead need to be subsidised to get children safely to school.
14- Subsidise late evening services to ensure easy ways into and out of town late at night. This ensures vibrancy of late-evening life in town for shopping, theatre, cafes and restaurants.
15- To pay for above strategy, reduce expenditure on new road infrastructure such as junction improvements in town, since they will no longer be required if the above tactics are used to support an overall strategy of modal shift in Ipswich.