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.

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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.”

10 comments

  • It looks very narrow in the photo. When a large crowd gets off when an Intercity stops at platform 3 and they head across, anybody wanting to cross from platform 2 won't stand a chance. Unless it's in two parts and we can only see one of them.

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    beerlover

    Monday, June 6, 2011

  • Providing they are able bodied, there is no reason why the old steps cannot be used or have they closed the old ones?

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    Wendiwych

    Monday, June 6, 2011

  • old ones still open? i bet its quicker to use the oldies !!

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    barry chark

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

  • Fat Controller, needing it to rain to test how waterproof something is, is a really weak excuse, we wouldn't accept that with our houses. And the project considerably overran, hence it is judged a failure.

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    Morgan Spurlock

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

  • I knew the new bridge and lifts had been completed last year and I was looking forward to having an easier time exiting Ipswich station after my trip up from London this past March. Low and behold we still had to lug our suitcases up those stairs, over the bridge and down the other side. This, for a 79 year old woman, is not easy. Hopefully I will be able to make another trip next spring, and will keep my fingers crossed that the lifts and new bridge will still be in operation.

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    Doreen Curtis

    Monday, June 6, 2011

  • My heart goes out towards the contractors (Murphy’s) who installed the footbridge and lift shafts at Ipswich Station. They have done a tremendous job in restricted conditions based on the rail environment due to some elements of the works having to be carried out within possessions which I’m told are few and far between and out of their control. This in turn disrupts the sequence of works then delays the project. Do people not realise that the works are in close proximity to over head wires that carry a huge voltage. I’m very sure that the reason flashings where not complete where due to the political pressure on the project to get the lift shafts operational on a particular day. Obviously judging by Teresa Coffey’s comments stating “ The new bridge opened in the rain-which showed engineers where flashings 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” enforces she has no understanding of construction and should not comment on them. If waiting for rain was a procedure to ascertain if leeks enter a building I had better go onto Dragons Den and show them an invention of a pipe that lets water run through it and when connected to a tap transports it to wherever the end is!!!!!! I’m glad that Teresa Coffey has paid particular interest to her constituency regarding their travel requirements rather than being biased that her mother recently depends on the use of public transport at the station. The station has been waiting decades for lifts but 2 months delay and suddenly everyone knows a disabled person who wants to use a lift, or is it just to get a name or photograph in the local newspaper?? As a frequent user of the station, I embrace the new lift shafts and footbridge as not only does it aid in great access but can also allow better views for train spotters. I will miss my chats with the contractors when they leave Ipswich. A good job well done, with minimal interference to the public.

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    fatcontroller

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

  • Morgan, please read more carefully. It clearly states "if waiting for rain was a procedure" the point is of course it's not.

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    fatcontroller

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

  • A very welcome and long overdue improvement at Ipswich station, but how is it anything at all to do with our two most recently elected MPs ??? They were neither of them elected, and in the case of Dr Coffey even living in Suffolk, at the time this was planned, and their party was not in power. A cheap publicity stunt for them, or a case of sucking up to the government by Network Rail ?

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    bettycoltrane

    Monday, June 6, 2011

  • I used it yesterday for the first time - although the old one is still there. I recon it is an accident waiting to happen. The steps are steeper and longer than old ones, there is no centre hand rail unlike old ones and the steps are in one sweep (there is no platform and change in direction half way up). Anyone who slips has a long way to fall, and only the side rails to try to grab on to.

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    julian_n

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

  • "....providing a passenger lift over the tracks for the first time ever" This is not quite true. There did used to be a goods lift which was available to disabled passengers. It was located near to the existing lift. It was removed in the late 70searly 80s. Meanwhile, "The long dry spell has meant it had not been possible to judge where the bridge let in water" How shoddy is it to have a footbridge designed and built at a cost of millions of pounds but not know where rain may come in until it rains. Presumably we will next be told won't know how strong it is until people start crossing over it?

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    John Alborough

    Monday, June 6, 2011

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