‘We recognise the issues’ - Highways chiefs look to tackle Ipswich traffic troubles

Ipswich traffic (stock image) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich traffic (stock image) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: sarah lucy brown

Highways chiefs have said they are “looking at options” to solve Ipswich traffic troubles – after facing fierce criticism from the town’s MP,

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, Mary Evans, said she recognised the issues raid by Sandy Martin MP, and would be meeting to discuss “highway improvement opportunities” later this month.

Her comments come after Mr Martin told Suffolk Highways to “get a grip” having been stuck in traffic in the area of St Helen’s Street and Spring Road last Friday night.

“This is not acceptable,” he said, “It’s been going on for years.”

Traffic along the busy route has become a sore topic for drivers in the town, with frequent delays to peak time journeys.

Suffolk County Council has confirmed it is looking into improvements in St Helens Street and Spring Road as part of a series of highways projects in the town.

The £5million Ipswich Radial Corridor Improvement Scheme has already seen work take place at Bell Lane and Beech Road in Kesgrave, the Landseer Road and Clapgate Lane junction, the Maryon Road and Nacton Road intersection and the Foxhall Road/Heath Road roundabout.

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Work began this summer in Felixstowe Road between the St Augustine’s roundabout and Sainsbury’s, which was scheduled to last around 20 weeks. A Freedom of Information response from earlier this year showed that upgrades to Spring Road and St Helen’s Street were also under consideration.

Ms Evans said: “We recognise the issues related to traffic build up on St Helen’s Street and Spring Road, and as previously stated we are looking at options to improve the traffic flow on this key corridor into the town centre.”

“A meeting has been arranged between Suffolk County Council’s Transport Strategy team and Sandy Martin MP to discuss highway improvement opportunities in Ipswich.”

Suffolk County Council has proposed the wider traffic improvements in recognition of the forecast 42,000 growth in Ipswich’s population over the next 19 years.

“This growth is predicted to have an impact on traffic levels in and around the town centre,” a spokesman said. “With this increase in traffic and a call for more sustainable transport options in Ipswich, Suffolk County Council has undertaken traffic surveys to determine the level of traffic growth in the town and to identify those corridors and junctions which are already very congested and have poor pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities.

Suffolk County Council said no dates had yet been finalised for when the work to St Helen’s Street would take place.