Thousands turn out to have a say on a northern bypass for Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 13:51 03 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:51 03 August 2019
More than 2,000 people have been to meetings to find out about plans for a new northern bypass across the top of Ipswich.
The largest crowds turned out to the first meeting, at Grundisburgh Village Hall, where 511 people came through during the four-hour session in Grundisburgh Village Hall on July 9.
There was also a large turnout at Witnesham the following week when 351 visited the village hall to find out about the three options for a new Ipswich Northern Route to link the A14 at Claydon or Coddenham to the A12 near Martlesham or Woodbridge.
The materials used in the exhibitions will no go on display around the area from Monday, August 5 until September 13 - the last day for people to have their say on the potential route.
Unlike the meetings last month, there will be no council officers available to discuss these proposals with visitors at these exhibitions.
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The proposed routes have been drawn up by a consortium of Suffolk's local authorities who have all backed the public consultation.
Once all the responses have come in, officials will look again at which is the most suitable route before taking the plans forward - but they will seek further backing from the county's councils before going ahead with the next phase.
Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks said: "Earlier this year I, along with the leaders of all the councils of Suffolk, committed to holding this consultation and I am pleased so many people have taken the opportunity to visit the events and have their say.
"I was able to attend all but one of the events and I was especially impressed by the number of people turning up to ask questions and give their opinion. I would urge anyone who hasn't done so yet to have a look at the materials online and have your say on this important proposal for Suffolk."
The proposed new road has already proved very controversial - while many people and businesses in the Ipswich area believe it will ease congestion on the town's roads, many communities to the north of the town fear it will ruin their rural setting.
There are fears that the only way any road could get government funding would be by building thousands of homes along it, effectively creating a new town in the countryside to the north of Ipswich.