Traffic problem for historic town houses

TRAFFIC is threatening some of the most historic parts of Ipswich while just metres away work is continuing to regenerate the waterfront.The owner of some of the most historic buildings in the town today accused local authorities of doing nothing to protect buildings from the ravages of traffic.

TRAFFIC is threatening some of the most historic parts of Ipswich while just metres away work is continuing to regenerate the waterfront.

The owner of some of the most historic buildings in the town today accused local authorities of doing nothing to protect buildings from the ravages of traffic.

Anthony Ratcliffe could see no solution to the problems of heavy traffic pounding through the area.

"No one seems to want to do anything about all this traffic," he said. "They will talk about it but shy away from actually doing anything.

"These buildings are some of the most historic in Ipswich, they were built for the merchants who brought their ships to the town.

"But they are being damaged by the constant vibration from heavy traffic just outside the door – and the councils don't seem to be prepared to do anything to get rid of that traffic."

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Mr Ratcliffe was speaking outside one of his properties in Grimwade Street.

"We've done quite a bit of restoration work on this and it is now occupied by a computer firm – but they can't have the windows open at the front because then they cannot hear themselves on the phone," he said.

"This building dates from the 17th century – the building next door which was built at the same time has 1631 marked on it.

"I've invested in other buildings in the area and they date from the same period but they're all at risk from the traffic."

The area around the waterfront is one of the oldest areas of Ipswich and Mr Ratcliffe was angry that planners did not seem concerned about the impact of traffic.

"They are worried about the environment at Piper's Vale so they blocked a link road there – but they don't do anything about pushing the traffic through here," he said.

Ipswich council has a long term plan to close Key Street, Salthouse Street and College Street to traffic and make Star Lane a two-way road – but that would not help Mr Ratcliffe's property in Grimwade Street.

"I suppose if that happened, we'd end up with two-way traffic along here," he said.

The presence of a dual carriageway separating the town centre from the waterfront is seen as a major obstacle to the integration of the two.

"It sometimes seems as if the council is only interested in buildings that are overlooking the water – and aren't concerned about the damage to these buildings a few yards away," Mr Ratcliffe said.

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