Transport Secretary hopes Ipswich could look to Derby for regeneration inspiration as election campaign hots up

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin visited Andrew Harston, Director Shortsea of ABP

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin visited Andrew Harston, Director Shortsea of ABP, during a tour of Ipswich Haven Marina. - Credit: Su Anderson

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has visited Ipswich to formally launch the £2 million design scheme for a new Wet Dock crossing.

And the town’s MP Ben Gummer, who is hoping to retain the marginal seat in May’s general election, revealed his hopes that everyone in Ipswich should have a say on what the new crossing looks like.

Mr McLoughlin, who represents the Derbyshire Dales constituency, said a new crossing over the river and wet dock lock could transform the Waterfront in the same way that new infrastructure transformed Derby city in the 1990s.

He said: “Two bridges were built across what is now Pride Park which led to the complete transformation of the area.

“The football stadium was built, but also many different business premises – it really transformed the city. That is the kind of thing you could look at here in Ipswich.”

Mr Gummer was not able to meet Mr McLoughlin – he was called back to Westminster to vote on the controversial change to the Speaker’s election – but he said he wanted a landmark design to be chosen for the crossing.

He said: “I want everyone in Ipswich to be part of deciding what his crossing should look like.

Most Read

“That is why we are launching a worldwide search for a designer who will be able to provide a crossing that works and enhances our town – a designer whom the people of Ipswich will help to choose.

“We have been timid for too long: if we are to prosper we must be bold and ambitious. This crossing is a sign that we are ready to be precisely that.”

Mr McLoughlin was shown the site by officials from landowner Associated British Ports.

Andrew Harston, Associated British Ports Director, said: “The Port of Ipswich and its customers contributes £122 million to the local economy every year and supports 1,812 jobs.

“We look forward to seeing the submitted designs and to working with the partners to develop a new crossing that does not undermine this or compromise the ability of the port to continue to attract investment, drive growth and create more jobs in future. That way a wet dock crossing can deliver a real win-win for the town.’’

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