Fresh £5million bid to be made to solve Ipswich roundabout congestion

The roundabout connecting Nacton Road, the Ravesnwood estate and Ransomes

The roundabout connecting Nacton Road, the Ravenswood estate and Ransomes business park in Ipswich  - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

Highways chiefs in Suffolk must start again on a bid for £5million of Government cash to address traffic problems at one of Ipswich’s busiest junctions after the Department for Transport scrapped the funding avenue designed for blocked-up roads.

Suffolk County Council last year submitted a bid to the DfT’s Pinch Point Fund – a dedicated pot to tackle snared-up junctions – for the busy Nacton Road junction connecting the Ravenswood housing estate, the A14 and Futura Park and Ransomes Europark sites.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt had called upon the Government to look favourably upon the bid, but work must now begin from scratch after the Government opted to scrap the Pinch Point Fund.

It has replaced it with the £4.8billion Levelling Up Fund announced in the 2020 Spending Review, but it has been confirmed that bids already in the system for the Pinch Point Fund will not automatically be resubmitted to the Levelling Up pot.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “Unfortunately the Pinch Point scheme was withdrawn by the Government and was replaced by the Levelling Up Fund.

“As a result, our previous expression of interest is no longer being considered.

“Any bids will now need to come as part of the new Levelling Up Fund funding process.

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“Discussions are ongoing to discern what a Suffolk bid for funding will include.”

It is understood the process and scope of funding is different, meaning the authority is now considering how best to form a bid going forward.

It is not yet clear if that will require other infrastructure upgrades or other roads to be included, but marks a delay to any potential awarding of cash to help improve the route.

While detailed plans had not been drawn up, its measures would have included signalised pedestrian crossings, signals on some of the arms, bus priority means, capacity improvements and upgrades to the Havens roundabout where the A14 onslip begins.

The junction is a key point for traffic on the eastern side of Ipswich, as it connects the Ravenswood estate with the town centre, and is a key route to joining the A14 and the busy Ransomes and Futura Park retail and business parks.