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Ipswich: New railway station footbridge opened

PUBLISHED: 11:56 06 June 2011 | UPDATED: 12:13 06 June 2011

Therese Coffey  and Ben Gummer at the opening of the new footbridge and lifts at Ipswich Station

Therese Coffey and Ben Gummer at the opening of the new footbridge and lifts at Ipswich Station

Archant

IT MAY have arrived at Ipswich station months late, but the new footbridge has finally opened – providing a passenger lift over the tracks for the first time ever.

The £2.4 million footbridge had been due to open early in the spring, but the cold winter and other problems delayed the work.

But now it has been opened with a visit from MPs Ben Gummer and Therese Coffey.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Coffey has been campaigning hard to get the bridge opened because passengers catching trains on the East Suffolk Line through her constituency now have to change at Ipswich to get to London.

She said: “I have been pressing Network Rail to get on with the work. I know how difficult it has been for people having to be escorted across the tracks because my mother had problems after she fell and broke her hip.

“It’s taken longer than it should to get open, but we have to look to the future and not the past.”

The new bridge opened in rain – which showed engineers where flashing and other minor engineering improvements need to be completed.

The long dry spell has meant it had not been possible to judge where the bridge let in water – but on its first day of operation users were having to dodge the drips.

And a new section of roof will probably be installed to cover the 10-feet or so between the canopy on platform two and the bridge.

However despite teething issues, Ipswich MP Mr Gummer welcomed its opening – and looked ahead to future improvements.

He said: “This is an important, but relatively small, improvement for passengers from Ipswich. What we need to do is keep up the pressure for major infrastructure improvements through Essex to improve the rail service generally between Suffolk and the capital.”

A Suffolk war hero who survived eight bomb blasts has told this newspaper a new political party launching nationwide next month aims repair the country’s public services – and give disillusioned voters a voice.

An appeal has been launched to find an Essex man wanted in connection with a failure to appear at court.

A world-renowned female harpist has denied sexually abusing a schoolboy and told a trial that he sexually assaulted her while she was in the shower.

Starstruck pupils at a Suffolk primary school gasped and cheered as The Voice contestants Tania Hambleton and Ryan North treated the excited youngsters to a mini concert.

The mother of a man with Down’s Syndrome who died at the age of just 33 says she believes her son’s death was ‘wholly preventable’, an inquest has heard.

A Suffolk MP has demanded the Government pledge emergency cash to solve an ambulance crisis which whistleblowers claim has killed scores across the region.

The University of Essex is among more than 60 institutions set to strike next month over pensions – however staff at the University of Suffolk are not expected to take part.

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