Town gets backing for transport revamp

A MULTI-MILLION pound scheme to improve public transport and pedestrian and cycle routes in Ipswich looks set to go ahead.Work on the project in the town could be underway within five years, after the East of England regional transport panel yesterday gave its backing to the plans.

A MULTI-MILLION pound scheme to improve public transport and pedestrian and cycle routes in Ipswich looks set to go ahead.

Work on the project in the town could be underway within five years, after the East of England regional transport panel yesterday gave its backing to the plans.

The scheme will be debated on Thursday by the regional assembly's executive before a priority list is drawn up next month with a final decision being made in January.

The Ipswich scheme will cost an estimated £21.8million and include upgrading the town's bus stations, pedestrianising Upper Brook Street, bringing the town into line with most other urban centres by providing real time passenger information signs at bus stops, three more bus lanes, bus priority schemes at road junctions, wider pavements, and coloured road markings for cycle lanes.

Guy McGregor, the Suffolk's portfolio holder for roads and transport, said the county council decision to make the scheme its top transport priority was a demonstration of the its commitment to Ipswich.

He said: “When it is fully in operation, the street scene and access to the town centre would be improved immeasurably.

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“I am very hopeful that once all the funding approvals have been given, work will be able to start on `Ipswich transport fit for the 21st century' before 2014.”

Emphasis on transport schemes rather than major road improvements has been signalled by the regional transport panel.

n. What improvements do you think are needed? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk