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Transforming the town

PUBLISHED: 16:26 02 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

The centre of Ipswich is being prepared for a major transformation over the next few years – and the changes are due to start early next year. Political Editor PAUL GEATER looks at the next phase, and how you can have your say in what happens next.

A NEW one-way system for buses, taxis, and orange badge holders only is expected to come into force in Ipswich town centre early next year, together with a clampdown on cars using certain roads illegally.

Before then, however, residents and visitors have the opportunity to give their views on the proposed changes to Ipswich's road

network.

This week, Ipswich Council and Suffolk County Council are

holding an exhibition to display the traffic options for the town

centre.

It will take several months for the changes to be considered and approved by council committees before they can be introduced – probably in about a year's time.

Around early 2003 the existing pedestrianised streets are due to be paved over to improve the overall appearance of the central area. The route planned for the central Ipswich gyratory system at

present includes Upper Brook Street but it could also include Upper Orwell Street, once the proposed Mint Quarter shopping centre is built.

Although not part of the road scheme, Fore Street would be paved from the Martin and Newby ironmongers' corner to the Lord Nelson public house, with a new "Toucan" pedestrian crossing across Star Lane.

The changes were first proposed four years ago after the result of a public questionnaire showed users favoured the "anti-clockwise" option. This will involve reversing the traffic flow in High Street, Museum Street and Northgate Street.

The first phase was the ban on non-essential traffic from Museum Street, High Street, Dog's Head Street and Upper Brook Street.

This provoked anger from many motorists, some of whom

continue to ignore the bans.

However, Ipswich Council's environment and transport

spokeswoman Penny Breakwell said the number of cars using these streets has now dropped significantly.

The police have been asked to target once again drivers using the streets illegally, which means they are likely soon to be handing out more fixed penalty tickets.

"This isn't a major problem now, but regular police campaigns will ensure the message gets across," Ms Breakwell said.

The exhibition will be at the Cornhill on Friday and Saturday. and leaflets explaining the proposed changes are to be distributed to businesses across the town during the first part of the week.

A questionnaire will be available giving an opportunity to express views on the proposed changes until July 27. You can also air your views by e-mail to: getaroundtown@ipswich.gov.uk

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