Ipswich/Suffolk: Summit to look at diversions when A14 and Orwell Bridge are forced to close

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

Friday, February 28, 2014
12:21 PM

Police and highways authorities are to hold a summit meeting next week to look at ways of easing chronic congestion in the Ipswich area when the A14 – especially the Orwell Bridge – is closed.

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"The other week when the bridge was shut I got stuck on Lower Road between Henley Road and Westerfield Road for 45 minutes, as did hundreds of others as we had no choice because there were limited other ways."

Ed Watts, web commenter

There have been several occasions over recent years when the closure of the bridge has led to near gridlock on roads through the town – and has also caused problems in villages as drivers attempt to find alternative routes to avoid problems.

Now Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has joined the county’s cabinet member for transport, Graham Newman, to host the meeting at the police headquarters at Martlesham next Thursday.

They have invited representatives of business organisations, ports, the NFU and the Highways Agency to look at ways of easing the problems.

Mr Passmore said: “We have to have a strategy that can be put into place when there is a closure on the A14, especially on the Orwell Bridge.

“The problem is there is no obvious alternative route, and you get people relying on their sat navs to find a different way. That’s why we ended up with ridiculous situation of lorries trying to get through Coddenham last week.”

It was vital that alternative routes should be adequately policed. Mr Passmore was pleased the Road Haulage Association would be represented – but felt the Highways Agency still needed to be more responsive.

“The other day the A14 was closed near Stowmarket and it took the Highways Agency’s contractors nearly two hours to reach the scene to start work. That is totally unacceptable,” he said.

Anyone wishing to have their say on what should be discussed at the meeting can take part by visiting the website www.suffolk-pcc.gov.uk

28 comments

  • The Northern Bypass is the only real solution. Isnt it about time the local paper ( even if it is printed north of the border ) actually did something useful and started a campaign to get it built?

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    N M

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Ok everybody lets look at a little realism. Nobody is going to give up the car. We dont have time to walk 15mins to the bus stop, 10mins waiting for the bus then 15min bus journey, then a nice 10 min walk at the other end. So thats 50mins instead of 17min drive to work in a nice dry (not like today fancy 35mins outside in the rain and wind ?) car that you take 3 steps in to, then park at work with maybe 10 paces inside. Or maybe a nice 30 or 40mins walk in the rain or maybe a nice 30min bike ride in the rain then 30mins why you shower and get ready to do a days work. So thats a lost 35mins morning and night or your working day taking an hour and ten minutes longer. I hope youve all got the extra time and that is only a localcouple of mile journey, it gets worse if you say live in Needham and work at Nacton Rd. So sorry Ian i wont be giving my car up as i have a life and places to be and a lot to do.

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    The Ginge

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • You couldn't make it up? Diversions? People already know how to divert away from the bridge either via local knowledge or sat nav (and probably even trial and error.. follow the lorry or car in front!) Diversions isn't something that needs to be addressed. Northern Bypass is needed and ultimately could result in the dropping of Adastral Park with such work going elsewhere (perhaps abroad) and Felixstowe struggling to compete with other ports for further future expansion. They never thought Hollywood would die but its crisis point with most films being produced elsewhere. Nothing is safe. Economically speaking all we have is Felixstowe Docks, the military bases (in decline) and Adastral Park making Suffolk (excluding farming etc) ...none of which is within the actual Ipswich boundary!!! The docks are here to stay (but could lose trade to elsewhere) but Adastral Park could easily be relocated and sold for housing.More housing, no new jobs...

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Not sure what you want to do here. If you don't use the bridge there are only a couple of routes through town. There's nothing that you can set up with the current roads. The only way to ease congestion is to knuckle down and try to build the northern bypass again. That would help everyone all the time. The routes through town were never good and the recent changes made by the "Ipswich Fit" nonsense have only made things worse!

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    Chris Church

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • About sums up Tim Passmore, why were lorries going through Coddenham last week, it wasn't sat nav, it was local knowledgge that they knew they could cut through and get on Henley Rd, therefore cutting out Norwich Rd, Valley Rd and if you cut up enough you can come out through Playford etc and miss the que in Ipswich. I am sorry every politician in Suffolk and Ipswich have over the last 15yrs backed the plan to make it impossible to travel in Ipswich to encourage the locals to walk hence why on the main diversion routes of Asda around the old bypass you go through 17 sets of traffic lights or down Wherstead Rd and the Docks you sit for an 1hr to 2hrs on the one way system around the docks oh sorry marina because instead of using both lanes going East you have the stupid bus lane at the end blocking the route, instead of giving the one way system priority at the lights with Grimwade St which are set to turn red and green so regularly that they have everybody stopping and starting, nor did they when they created the University area use the full width of the road and create two lanes to Duke St and two lanes comming in when they had the width to do so, nor did they leave the roundabout at Duke St, no they used more lights because stupid cyclists came down Bishops Hill and went up the inside of LGVs indicating to turn left and they wondered why they got crushed as they sat in the lorries blind spot or the stupid zebra crossings at the bottom of Grimwade St where Students poor across effectively blocking the traffic instead of using underpasses or pedestrian bridging to remove the blockage that could have been built when UCS was built. I could go on, but now the results are comming home, you have what you wanted an Ipswich you can not get through, about or around. Hence why the Lorries are creating their own Northern Bypass using the small roads to the North of Ipswich, on which it would be impossible to police better as there are no 7.5t weight limits because all the businesses, farms etc need large lorries to get their goods in or is Mr Passmore going to suggest the Farms and Debach Enterprises close down so he can put in weight limits ? Time is money Mr Passmore, no Haulage Company is going to park up West of Ipswich if you have a trailer waiting for you in Felixstowe and there is no law you can use to make them. You and your politician friends created the mayhem in Ipswich that I have to negotiate every time I go to work, now try explain why you did that instead of stupid gimmicks. Politicians answer to everything we will have a meeting and talk and talk and talk and do errr Nothing, next well be appointing a traffic czar.

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    The Ginge

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Orwell Bridge is often blocked due to an "accident" - in other words someone was driving carelessly. No one can do anything about adverse weather causing travel disruption but accidents can be may be reduced by careful driving and lower speed limits (as proposed). Also the railway improvement currently under way should take more of the lorries from Felixstowe Docks off the road which must surely help?

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    Johnny

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Northern bypass. Please. Pretty please, with a cherry on top.

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    PC Plod

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • I agree with Chris Church. The since the bridge was built the traffic to and from Felixstowe has exploded, and the roads in Ipswich can never cope with all the lorries especially at rush hour as well. Get EU funding and build the Northern Bypass now.

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    Driven Roundabend

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • The biggest scandal is not people using cars so much for non-essential travel. You can pretty much understand why people want to use their cars for across town journeys... without bashing public transport, they pay for their car, road tax, insurance etc. its not economical to leave their car at home to get on the bus to and from work. The biggest scandal isn't congestion either - its people (manufacturers too) moving away from petrol cars to diesel... diesel fumes is a major cancer risk. Its better to be selfish to sit in your cars polluting the atmosphere, then it is to WALK or CYCLE breathing in all the dangerous fumes... of course, you don't breathe in next to a cars exhaust but approx 80% of all vehicles in Ipswich appear to be diesel - lorries, buses, cars, vans... its much healthier to be inside the car than outside on busy congested routes. Really... no fear mongering here. So waiting at a bus stop is also an issue especially at a bus station. Breathing in any exhaust fumes is never recommended and anyone can assume it wont be healthy... but the congestion in Ipswich and the greater number of diesel vehicles on the road is chopping peoples actual life expectancy, its not a short term health thing but over 10-20 years its very significant, no wonder that they claim cancer rates are to double!!!

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Well done, Mr Passmore. When the Orwell bridge closes Suffolk shuts. For at least half day and usually longer. These days when it happens I just stay home. I won't be going anywhere anyway if I try! He's also bang on about the lazy Highways Agency staff who seem to have no sense of urgency. Roads are closed far more often than even 10 years ago and kept shut for hours. There seems no concern about the cost or the pain inflicted. The police are equally idle and have no targets to get things moving (or so I learned via an FOI). Instead they carry out interminable 'investigations' while people suffer. In the long term some solution is needed. But we need the officials to stop their war on the car and focus. This initiative can only do good.

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    Roger Pearse

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • At 50 million a day, maybe get out of the eu & build it ourselves?

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    sunwindwave

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • I'll tell you why N M. It's because some journos prefer to write about their own agendas while massaging their egos, rather than picking up the baton on behalf of local people...that's too much like hard work!

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    Robotix

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Northern Bypass, only viable long term solution. Until such time as our local politicians etc. wake up a realise they need to push for some proper infrastructure investment in this region we run the risk of making further private investment at Felixstowe and around Ipswich look very unattractive.

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    mmm

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • If you want people to travel on public transport then it needs to provide frequent and reliable services. We hear yet again that government and councils want to cut back and reduce spending on travel which will just force more cars on our roads. It's encouraging that a meeting is planned to discuss what can be done to improve the situation while the Northern bypass is being planned and built but it's unclear to me what this has to do with the NFU. Why aren't any residents invited? When money is discussed at these forums the cost incurred by delay and additional mileage by travellers never seems to be considered. If the whole cost of failure was considered there may be more productive outcomes.

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    amsterdam81

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Recently I was in Doncaster which is about the same size as Ipswich. Its en-circled by motorways and criss-crossed by dual carrigeways which cut straight through the centre of town much in a way is being suggested here. The Taxi driver spent most of my 10 minute journey complaining about the traffic and its permanent state of gridlock and with apoligies to any Doncaster residents but the place is pretty unpleasant. Thats the trouble with most addictions- even too much is never enough and just building more roads makes the problem bigger and passes it on to the next generation. The actual problem is not the roads, its not traffic lights, its not kids who want to be outside, its not councils, its YOU. You have become so reliant on a car to move your body about that any other option seems unthinkable and expect everyone else to pay for the up keep of our roads and the spiralling NHS costs to treat the heart desease, cancers and diabetes associated with your lifestyle. Around the world every town and city that has developed more and more roads to satisfy a never ending demand has turned into a hell hole (take a look at Bejing). Places that have encouraged multi mode transport systems, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Portland are consistantly considered the best places live. Cars have their place, I love mine when I need to move a wardrobe or something but the easy and sustainable answer to this problem is to provide infrastructure that allows people to get around safely when not in a car and in so doing reduce the amount of cars blocking up our roads, not build more roads.

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    IanW

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Well said The Ginge. I think we should re-route everything via Coddenham, Ashbocking, Westerfield, Tuddenham, Bealings, etc, etc. They would soon be in agreement to a Northern Bypass. Oh and why is Graham Newman at this meeting, his answer is likely to be - let's put in some traffic lights.

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    Bernard Bright

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • A second Orwell crossing, as all other rivers end up getting and a northern bypass that follows the pylons up Whitton way.

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    Lee Davies

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Build a bridge from Felixstowe docks to join up with that under used carriageway on the Harwich side , or else build the Nothern bypass

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    MIGUEL100

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • I agree that the villages to the north of Ipswich should become an informal "northern bypass". The NIMBY crowd will soon change their tune.

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    Winston Barrington Jr.

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • @theginge You are allowed to use full stops by the way.

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    Tedbundy

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • You don't have time to plan your journey but you do have time to sit in traffic for hours on end? I absolutely guarantee you other methods of transport are both often quicker and more pleasant than sitting in your tin box. Also nobody is suggesting you give up your car, they are fantastic things and by far the best choice for certain journeys. However we have got to stage due to overuse stops people using other methods and forcing them into cars because either the facilities are not there or they feel un safe. Let's all keep our cars but make sure using them is not at someone else's expense.

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    IanW

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • the bridge is only closed due to a accident and high winds .have a bit of of sense it does not happen every day.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • @ginge..damn those people getting in the way your car...the cheek of em!

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    IanW

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Perhaps if the bridge remained open for cars when it is windy rather than closing it for all traffic might help. Of course it's not going to solve the problem completely but it would avoid the ridiculous situation where I had to wait hours until the bridge was deemed suitable for high sided vehicles the other month. It would also reduce some of the congestion in the town caused by lorries having to use the town's roads.

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    dj

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • The other week when the bridge was shut I got stuck on Lower Road between Henley rd and Westerfield rd for 45 minutes, as did hundreds of others as we had no choice because there were limited other ways.

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    Tedbundy

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • I'll tell you why N M. It's because some journos prefer to write about their own agendas while massaging their egos, rather than picking up the baton on behalf of local people...that's too much like hard work!

    Report this comment

    Robotix

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • I agree that more roads are not the solution to everything. However, the rail network is running close to capacity, so an awful lot of freight has to move by road. To get people out of their cars and on to public transport, we have to have some public transport to tempt them. At the moment, it's almost cheaper to take a car into ipswich town centre than it is to get the bus. We need to subsidise public transport, invest in it and make it reliable, clean and pleasant, not a poor man's alternative to individual transport ie the car. None of our politicians want to invest in public transport, as it requires a long term view, and none of them can see past the next election.

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    Alice

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Put diversions for the cars through the villages north of Ipswich, just leaving the lorries to go through Ipswich around Colchester Rd. Really, what can be done? There is nowhere for the traffic to go.

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    Esco Fiasco

    Friday, February 28, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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