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Thousands have their say on Ipswich northern bypass in Suffolk survey

PUBLISHED: 05:30 30 September 2019

Hundreds of people took part in a march against the bypass through Ipswich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Hundreds of people took part in a march against the bypass through Ipswich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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The public consultation into a possible route for a northern bypass for Ipswich has attracted one of the largest responses seen by Suffolk County Council.

More than 4,000 people have had their say online or by filling in forms that were available at public consultation events or in public buildings.

And a petition with more than 5,000 signatures calling for proposals to build any route to be abandoned is due to be presented at the next full meeting of the county council - and to ministers in Whitehall.

The public consultation period finished two weeks ago and it will be several more weeks before the first analysis of the responses is completed.

It asked people to indicate which of three potential routes for a new road across the north of Ipswich from the A14 to the A12 would be preferable - although some people may have said they don't want any of them.

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The petition was organised by the Stop the Ipswich Northern Bypass campaign with the support of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter.

He said: "There has been a massive response to this proposal and the strength of feeling is clear. We've spoken to the county council and they have said they will accept the petition at their meeting."

The consultation was held after it was agreed by all of Suffolk's public sector leaders - the political leaders from the district and borough councils and Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore.

However they are not committed to any further steps - and the next stage in the process is not expected to emerge until near the end of the year.

A spokesman for the county council said the number of responses had been pleasing - 4,000 compares with about 3,600 who responded to the consultation on home to school transport and 3,000 who commented on the plans for further devolution of council services.

The launch of the consultation has signalled splits in the county on the proposal - Dr Poulter has been joined by Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey in coming out against the new road. Parish and town councils from the north and east of Ipswich have opposed it - but the borough council, Ipswich MP Sandy Martin and the town's Conservative candidate have backed the proposal.

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