Bridge Street closure set to be made permanent

Bridge Street cut-through

The Bridge Street cut-through was temporarily closed in June. - Credit: Archant

The closure of the Bridge Street cut-through in the Waterfront area of Ipswich is set to be made permanent if there are no major objections to Suffolk County Council.

The short cut-through from College Street to Stoke Bridge was closed to motor traffic last June as part of the measures introduced to encourage cycling and walking in the town in response to the Covid crisis.

Now the county council has decided it has not caused problems for traffic and it should be made permanent as part of moves to improve the Stoke Bridge entrance to the Waterfront area.

The pedestrian/cyclist Toucan crossing by Stoke Bridge is set to be moved nearer to the roundabout to create a more seamless walking and cycling path from Grafton Way to the Waterfront.

Bridge Street crossing

Bridge Street crossing will be moved nearer the roundabout. - Credit: Google

It was originally placed closer to the bridge because there was a rail crossing to the dock area - but that was removed in the 1990s.

The county council is running a consultation exercise on its website until March 19. Providing there are no insurmountable objections the changes could be made by September - a move that would be welcomed by those seeking to regenerate the town centre end of the Waterfront.

Terry Hunt, chairman of the Ipswich Vision Board and the Ipswich Town Deal board welcomed the proposal and said it was vital to help kick-start the regeneration of the area between Stoke Bridge and the Jerwood Dance Centre.

He said: "That is an area that features in one of the Town Deal bids - and it is very good news that the county council is hoping to go ahead with this change.

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"it will improve the look of the area and encourage walking and cycling. It is just the start of the proposals which will continue with the demolition of that old wall that looks so bad around there.

"It will also improve the setting of the church (St Peter's) which is, of course, Thomas Wolsey's church."

The church was incorporated as the chapel of Wolsey's College which stood on the site for a few years during Henry VIII's reign before the Cardinal's fall.

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