Threat to �25m earmarked for Ipswich
Fears were growing today that Ipswich could miss out on a �25 million public transport bonanza amid concerns the project could be torpedoed by tough spending cuts.
IPSWICH: Fears were growing today that the town could miss out on a �25 million public transport bonanza amid concerns the project could be torpedoed by tough spending cuts.
The government has approved a major scheme to make the town centre and approaches to it more accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and buses.
Included in the proposal are rebuilt bus stations, a state of the art computerised traffic management and information system, and real time bus information.
The Department for Transport is due to fund 90 per cent of the cost - �22.5 million - with the borough and county councils making up the rest.
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However Guy McGregor, who is responsible for transport policy at the Conservative-controlled county council, told this week's meeting of the council's cabinet that there was increasing concern that the money could fall victim to central government spending cuts.
It was a warning repeated by borough transport spokeswoman Tanya de Hoedt, speaking before their executive meeting.
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She said: “We are concerned and are in talks with the county to see what elements of the bid could be salvaged if it falls victim to cuts in Whitehall.
“We would have liked to get things moving before now but it is a bit of a concern.”
County Labour group leader Sandy Martin, who is also a borough councillor, feared the scheme could be cut if the Conservatives win this year's general election.
He said: “It's just the kind of investment we need to promote more sustainable transport and create environmentally-welcome jobs so it's probably just the kind of thing the Tories would cut if they ever come into power.”