March 13 2014 Latest news:
Local government correspondent
Friday, January 31, 2014
Labour members of the borough council have hit out at the county’s consultation over the next phase of Travel Ipswich, claiming they are making it difficult for people to get involved.
Displays showing proposed changes to three major junctions on the edge of the town centre, and to Queen Street, have been put up in the Tower Ramparts shopping centre by Suffolk County Council.
Proposals to put traffic lights at the junction of Nacton Road and Felixstowe Road at the top of Bishop’s Hill have been controversial, and there is also concern that new lights on Woodbridge Road at the junction of Grimwade Street could hold up traffic.
Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said the changes were not part of the original Travel Ipswich scheme, which the Labour Party supports, and it was too difficult for people to give their views.
He said: “There is no one from the county here to explain the proposals to anyone who is interested, and while there are cards for people to fill in, there is nowhere for them to leave them – they have to post them to the council.
“That all makes it very difficult to understand exactly what the issues are and to send in an opinion.
“It is vital to make it as easy as possible for people to take part in these exercises.”
A spokesman for the county council said the displays were clear and it was not possible to have staff on hand every day to explain the issues.
He said: “The proposals are set out online and at various locations in and around the town centre, including Rosehill and Westbourne libraries, Duke Street Pharmacy and Tower Ramparts.
“We have provided Freepost comment cards through the doors of local residents and businesses, and to those visiting the displays.
“We want as many local people as possible to take part in the consultation by giving their view on the proposals, to support this we’ve provided an email address for members of the public to contact us direct.”