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Calls to review Upper Orwell Crossing plans as local MP writes to Transport secretary

PUBLISHED: 05:30 09 October 2019

Site investigation work was carried out for the new Upper Orwell Crossing. 
Picture: DANIEL JONES

Site investigation work was carried out for the new Upper Orwell Crossing. Picture: DANIEL JONES

Daniel Jones

The appeal has come after the MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps to formally register his opposition to the county council's proposals for the Northern Bypass.

Dr Dan Poulter MP Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDr Dan Poulter MP Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The letter sets out not only the thoughts of Dr Poulter but also those of other prominent Suffolk politicians including Peter Aldous, Therese Coffey and Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore as well as "many" councillors on both Mid Suffolk and East Suffolk councils.

In the letter, Dr Poulter lists the "lack of any sound evidence base" and the "devastating environmental impact" which such a road would have on Suffolk as reasons behind their objections.

However, other local politicians such as Ipswich MP Sandy Martin still back the plans to build a road to the northern side of Ipswich.

In an interview with this newspaper, Dr Poulter said: "It is inconceivable that they will proceed on this when there is so much opposition. We should be asking 'What is the point of the Northern Bypass?'

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"If it is about decongesting Ipswich, then the 20,000 to 50,000 additional houses that would be built in northern Ipswich as a result of the bypass, then all it will do is add to the congestion.

"What the evidence tells us is that in the longer term we should look again at the wet dock crossing as a viable and sensible option to improve traffic flow in the town and regenerate parts of the town by bringing investment into Ipswich. We would all be happy to go to the PM and the minister for transport and ask for additional funding."

Vocal opponent to the Upper Orwell Crossing, Matthew Thomas, still believed that even if the bridge is built, a Northern Bypass would still be needed.

"I was hoping that we wouldn't be going down this road again," he said.

"It was put to bed because they need millions more to build it so unless they have been given that money then there isn't any point in talking about it.

"The road wouldn't stop congestion in central Ipswich and isn't a practical solution to the problem."

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