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Works starts on new park and ride

PUBLISHED: 17:55 27 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:56 03 March 2010

DIGGERS roll into Martlesham today to start work on a controversial multi-million pound scheme to ease Ipswich congestion.

Debate has raged for years following the council's proposed siting of Ipswich's third park and ride site in Martlesham.

DIGGERS roll into Martlesham today to start work on a controversial multi-million pound scheme to ease Ipswich congestion.

Debate has raged for years following the council's proposed siting of Ipswich's third park and ride site in Martlesham.

And, while the future may look promising, the short-term outlook for drivers around the A12 and A1214 roundabout is bleak, with tailbacks predicted for months.

The road works will cause temporary headaches for hundreds of workers at BT. Hundreds more staff at the Suffolk police headquarters will also be affected.

A council spokesman warned: "The development will have some effect on the traffic flow at the junction during the works and in order to minimise the inconvenience, elements of the work will be carried out outside peak times."

The £2.8m project is designed to cut congestion to the town centre and make it easier for commuters to get into the centre from the north west.

The Martlesham park and ride will join two existing sites on London Road and Bury Road.

Traffic planners hope the third branch of the scheme, to the east of Ipswich, will attract up to 104,000 cars in its first year.

A council spokesman said: "The journey to the centre will take approximately 20 minutes and buses will run every 10 to 12 minutes."

The site can accommodate 550 cars in landscaped bays designed to blend into existing trees and reed beds.

But angry Martlesham residents had previously accused the council of "dumping" the park and ride site on their village.

They were worried motorists would "rat run' through Old Martlesham and Felixstowe Road to avoid new traffic lights.

Before plans had been finalised, Richard Carter, of Old Martlesham, said: "This is being dumped in a residential area. Ipswich will get the benefits we will get the congestion."


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