Uni bosses say traffic won't gridlock

RESIDENTS have today been assured the expansion of the University Campus Suffolk will not lead to traffic gridlock in the town.

RESIDENTS have today been assured the expansion of the University Campus Suffolk will not lead to traffic gridlock in the town.

There have been many concerns about the increase in students leading to massive traffic jams in Ipswich but university bosses said they have devised a travel plan to ensure this does not happen.

Under the UCS Travel Plan, the aim is to reduce car travel by more than 50per cent, doubling cycle and train journeys, increasing the use of the already well used bus service by at least 10pc, and a 60pc increase in local journeys being walked.

There are currently 2,600 students at the university but this is expected to increase to more than 5,000 when the rest of the building work on the university is completed by 2010.

The area around Duke Street has been highlighted as causing particular traffic problems for motorists driving through Ipswich with the increase in students and staff driving cars.

Councillor for St John's ward Sandy Martin said: “I am concerned to make sure it is as difficult as possible for students to use cars. I am absolutely opposed to providing any parking spaces for students.

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“Because the university is in the centre of town, it makes it very hard for people to drive and park there anyway.”

Neil Jackson, UCS director of estates and facilities, explained that over the next few years there will be a significant change in staff and student travel modes.

Mr Jackson said: “Travel impact during the expansion of the university will be controlled by the implementation of a travel plan. The town planning process places significant restrictions on the provision of car parking spaces and requires all developers to introduce a travel plan.

“Several factors will impact upon both staff and student travel needs including the increasing proportion of students living in purpose built accommodation located within walking or cycling distance of UCS or located on main bus routes to the campus.”

Do you have concerns over changes brought about by the university? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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People living in the area fear that parking problems in the area are likely to get worse with the university.

Dan Doolittle, Back Hamlet

“Parking and traffic are already a problem. It's quicker for me to walk to work now than it is to drive. Traffic runs from the top to the bottom of the street in the mornings and I've decided to move house because it's so difficult to park.”

Srini Vasarao, Finbar's Walk

“Parking isn't a big issue for me because I have a parking spot but the road is always busy during the week. People who don't live here park on the side of the road and walk into town.”

Stuart Fitzpatrick, Woodville Road

“It's always a struggle to park and I often have to park some distance from my house. The problem keeps getting moved further away from the centre of town.”

Angela Barker, Myrtle Road

“There is no room here any more and it's going to get worse. Students already park here to get to college and people use the road to access the docks.”

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