Transport revamp set to bring jobs to town

A multi-million pound redevelopment of the town’s transport network has been hailed as a “major vote of confidence for Ipswich”.

IPSWICH: A multi-million pound redevelopment of the town’s transport network has been hailed as a “major vote of confidence for Ipswich”.

Speaking on a visit to the town, transport minister Norman Baker welcomed investment to improve the town centre which will see two bus stations re-built, new pavements and cycle routes and the synchronisation of traffic lights.

The plan, revealed in yesterday’s Evening Star, is one of only seven of its kind given the green light by the coalition government and is set to bring jobs to the town, according to Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

Mr Baker said amid the spending cuts the transport budget has “survived relatively unscathed” recognising the importance of a modern transport network to the economy, boosting jobs while helping to cut carbon emissions.

Justifying the �25 million scheme in the face of vast cuts, Mr Baker said the plans were “good value for money”.

“There is evidence of a good pay back from cycling and walking schemes.

Most Read

“People who walk into town centres spend more in shops that those who park and worry about car parking charges, so it is good for business too.

“It is vital we cut carbon emissions, in the next five to six years we need to see behavioural change in our towns.

“Almost half of all car journeys are five miles or less it is vital to boost public transport.

“I am confident it will go ahead and I am determined it will be delivered on budget.”

And politicians and council chiefs met with Mr Baker at the Cattlemarket bus station yesterday to show their support for the work, which is set to start next year.

Guy McGregor, the county councillor with responsibility for transport, defended calls that work to the Princes Street roundabout was unnecessary.

He said: “No longer will people have to dive into the cavernous subway which is unfriendly and threatening.

“It is a vital part of a new link between the railway station and the town centre, which will encourage people into the town.

“The scheme is part of my ambition to make public transport a real choice not just a last resort.”

Meanwhile Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said he hoped the improved transport network would encourage new shops and businesses into the town centre, encouraging more

people from outside the town to visit.

“It is part of a plan to rejuvenate the town centre, making it a better place to visit and an easier and nicer place to walk around.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter