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Ipswich: Transport fears over northern fringe development

10:57 20 February 2013

Fears that traffic issues will increase if the northern fringe development goes ahead

Fears that traffic issues will increase if the northern fringe development goes ahead

A major new development to include thousands of new homes on the northern fringe of Ipswich is set to be discussed by councillors.

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Suffolk County Council has raised serious doubts about whether the town’s roads will cope with the extra traffic, if the scheme is given the green light.

And it has also flagged up concerns that people living in the area will not be aware of traffic-calming measures that need to be taken. The county’s cabinet is due to discuss its response to the proposals for the northern fringe when it meets next week.

Cabinet member with responsibility for transport and planning, Guy McGregor, said the issue of transport needed to be handled very carefully.

“We are not convinced that all the transport issues have been adequately dealt with,” he told The Star. “If there are thousands of new homes, there will have to be measures to ensure that people don’t all use their cars at the same time.”

Among the solutions being suggested at the cabinet meeting, are proposals for a cycle route to be created through Christchurch Park, and in the long term a bridge over the railway line is suggested to replace the Westerfield level crossing.

The new development would have to give priority to public transport, cycling, and walking – but Mr McGregor said this would have to be made clear to new residents from the start.

Unlike the Ravenswood community which was built on the town’s former airfield, the northern fringe spine roads would also he heavily used by other traffic heading towards the town – along Henley Road, Westerfield Road and Tuddenham Road.

Mr McGregor warned: “There are major issues to be faced with traffic management, and we are not convinced they have all been addressed at this stage.”

n Are you worried about traffic from the Northern Fringe? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starletters@ archant.co.uk

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12 comments

  • It seems that everyone except those who will make the decision are aware of the consequences of this development. Even at the public meeting held at Northgate Arts Centre, nobody on the panel would give a clear answer as to how the additional traffic would be accommodated on the the existing roads, particularly Valley Road. The only response was 'by traffic management scheme and traffic lights' I agree with amsterdam81 that the only solution is a northern bypass which should be in place before any development starts.

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    Derek Hayward

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Mr McGregor were all the transport issues adequately dealt with when you decided to use Landmark House for your huge number of staff who make travelling in Norwich Road more of a nightmare at rush hours, not to mention the air quality issues at the mini roundabout. Do your staff have a green travel plan because I don't see many using it.

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    Tolly

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • It's obvious what needs to be done - build in public transport provision in the development from the start, or make space for it as it's built. The idea of a cycle route through Christchurch Park is an excellent idea and should be taken up at the earliest opportunity. But for those who can't, or don't want to cycle, there are opportunities to develop existing and current bus routes north of Ipswich which struggle to make money at the moment without heavy subsidy. And, how about making better use of Westerfield station with provision for cycle and car parking and a bus interchange? The now hourly services on the East Suffolk line make that route a lot more viable for people north of Ipswich. Sensible transport provision needn't translate into fears. The Grange Farm experience in Kesgrave is probably a good example of what can be done with bus priorities too, ensuring that people cut down on car use.

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    IpswichExile

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Mr McGregor were all the transport issues adequately dealt with when you decided to use Landmark House for your huge number of staff who make travelling in Norwich Road more of a nightmare at rush hours, not to mention the air quality issues at the mini roundabout. Do your staff have a green travel plan because I don't see many using it.

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    Tolly

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • It seems that SCC are aware that all the transport issues have not been satisfactorily answered. BUT, will this ever affect the planning decision Without a northern bypass all the roads in the area will become clogged with traffic, with all the existing residential roads off the main routes becoming rat-runs There is no way that declaring a priority for walking cycling and public transport will ever stop people using cars A lot of the people living on a new estate of that size will work out of town and need to use their cars to get to work Will they be forced to work within a two mile radius? If the planners think they can tell people what to do they are not on this planet They MUST think again, long and hard!!!

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    neilf

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Ipswich needs more houses to cope with the rising population - simply as!! But before any housing development should take place, major consideration to the transport infrastructure should be addressed before any development take place. If this cannot be address - don't build new homes, re-develop the existing stock and make people live on their own in council houses with more than 1 bedroom move out in order to house a family that is in need.

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    Chris Ward

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • What an inspired piece of thinking - a cycle route through Christchurch Park. Problem solved, now they can go ahead and whack a few thousand new homes on those fields (and multiply by 2.5 for the likely number of cars that go with them). As for "making it clear" to residents that cycling and walking would have to take priority - oh yes, that's going to happen. Can you imagine? "I'm just going to nip into town to pick up my prescription, dear, I'll be back in four hours because Mr McGregor says I should walk." If we can learn anything from the Grange Farm and Ravenswood developments, it is this - attempts by the planners to limit car ownership and use are utterly ignored. If you build a four-bedroom property with one parking space, the residents will park the remainder of their cars on the grass verges. Honestly - does anyone ever have the guts to stand up in one of these meetings and say "You know what? This is just a terrible idea and we should forget the whole thing." I would, and that's why I'm not a councillor.

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    PC Plod

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • I well remember the phrase" traffic to integrate with pedestrians" when the Star reported on the development in Handford Road Cullingham Road. Within 2 weeks any pedestrian integrating themselves with traffic would have been wiped out - 30mph is the average there any day of the week. I said back then the shoddily engineered raised road surface was an abomination to all walkers in Handford road due to rainwater not running off, with the consequence that pedestrians would get soaked by each passing vehicle. Still it goes on. As for Westerfield, the whole area slopes into a valley along Lower road. With housing car standings covering the current fields, God knows how much flooding would occur. Get it into your head once and for all councillors - "Drivers will NOT give up their cars to walk and cycle" - you don't - they won't!

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    Sarky Sage

    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Bravo, Mr PC Plos! "Honestly - does anyone ever have the guts to stand up in one of these meetings and say "You know what? This is just a terrible idea and we should forget the whole thing." SOCS have repeatedly stated they feel the proposals as they stand are "not for for purpose." ; that is based on a sound, credible evidence base of demonstrated, justified need for local people and the wider community. Whether it be jobs, housing needs, provision of health, welfare education and social care services, infrastructure, climate change issues; flood, drought, waste disposal or general pestilence; energy needs , recreational needs or even a modest level of new homes to meet individual preference; mortgages & finance or the growing needs of an aging population, this NF proposal to date has ticked few of the many boxes. now the Borough wish to review their Core Strategy and INCREASE the area incorporate!

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    SOCS

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • How many of the Suffolk County councillors actually live in Ipswich? It works well fro those of them who don't as I'm sure they claim travelling expenses to drive (Yes drive not walk or bus) into Ipswich for their meetings. So what if councillors have to spend an extra hour sitting in the traffic jams they have created, as they will be paid expenses for their journey. Issue them all with bus passes and do away with travelling expenses for travel, and then they can see the mess they are responsible for that is the road system in and around Ipswich.

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    england1770

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Clearly a Northern bypass for Ipswich would be essential as an enabler for this development to proceed. Such a road would provide an alternative route when the Orwell Bridge is shut and would remove through traffic from the old bypass to take the additional local traffic. A Kesgrave bypass was designed and money from the Grange Farm development was contributed for the scheme. Unfortunately someone thought they could get away with a couple of roundabouts and several sets of traffic lights, most of which have since been scrapped. SCC do not have a good track record for spending development money wisely.

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    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • A message to local residents that will be affected by the new houses, don`t trust council planners in Kesgrave Grange Farm was sold to existing residents with a promise of a bypass paid for by a levy on all houses sold. What happened was 2 roundabouts and 2 sets of lights now one of those has been removed, don`t know what happened to the money that should have been raised, our local paper the evening star never took the story up!! So Don`t trust them or council planners tell you.

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    a west

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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

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