Vehicles could be banned from Waterfront

MOTORISTS’ access to the Waterfront area of Ipswich is under threat with proposals suggesting that the area could become restricted for road users.

Under proposals to update the definitive map for the town, three new restricted byways could be planned for the Waterfront development, meaning unauthorised vehicles would not be permitted to drive through the area. Private vehicles used for the area’s businesses are not expected to be included in the ban.

If approved, the plans would see restrictions in place from Foundry Lane along the Waterfront to Ship Launch Road via Wherry Lane.

Two further restrictions would be in place from Foundry Lane over the swing bridge to Ship Launch Road and from the junction of Dock Street to the end of Bath Street. Andrew Woodin, countryside access leader for Suffolk County Council, said: “Rights of ways come in various forms and sizes, from footpaths to byways. After viewing the evidence for the Waterfront area of Ipswich, we have proposed five public rights of way.

“Two of these are public footpaths – showing a right of way to pedestrians – and the other three are called restricted byways which gives rights to walkers, cyclists, horses and carriages. It does not include public motorised vehicles.”

If confirmed as restricted byways, there will no access for the public in vehicles, but private vehicular rights will be unaffected.

This would mean that businesses should not be affected.

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Mr Woodin said: “Some of the routes around the docks are currently motorised, but we believe that from the evidence obtained, a couple of the roads around the docks are actually restricted byways.

“The decision is being taken to a public inquiry and we don’t know where that will lead us.

“If it concludes that the five orders are correct, then we have to marry that up with what we have on the ground.”

He added that some surrounding landowners had objected to the orders, whereas others stated not enough rights of way had been established.

The public inquiry will be held at Ip-City Centre, in Bath Street, on Tuesday, December 7, from 10am.

At the inquiry, which is expected to last four days, considerations and objections to the orders will be heard before a planning inspectorate and a decision on the plans will be made.

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