Ipswich: Could volunteers help direct diverted traffic when the Orwell Bridge/A14 are closed to solve traffic chaos?

Orwell Bridge Orwell Bridge

Thursday, March 6, 2014
7:37 PM

Volunteers will be asked to direct traffic during planned closures of the Orwell Bridge, under plans being drawn up by Suffolk Constabulary.

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

The proposal for volunteers to take on the responsibility was made at a summit on the A14 and Orwell Bridge today.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, and the county’s cabinet member of transport, Graham Newman, attended the summit as well as members of the Highways Agency, business and port representatives, and members of the haulage industry.

The summit was called to come up with ideas for easing chronic congestion which afflicts Ipswich and surrounding villages whenever the Orwell Bridge is closed.

Afterwards Mr Passmore said Suffolk Constabulary would be able to bestow powers on volunteers to direct traffic towards proper diversion routes when necessary.

“One thing the constabulary has agreed to do is we are now in a position where volunteers can have powers designated to them so that if there is a problem in, say, Coddenham, for planned closures the volunteers would be able to direct traffic so that it wouldn’t come through Coddenham,” he said.

“The main thing is the traffic in Ipswich and if we can get enough volunteers we can at least make sure we are getting people to the right diversion routes.

He added: “They’ll have to be certified by the Constabulary as a special constable or voluntary PCSO, so where there’s a planned closure they can come out and direct traffic. One of the difficulties in villages is when there’s a diversion everybody just scatters everywhere.”

Mr Passmore said he was “very pleased” with the summit and there would be more meetings in the future.

It was also proposed that the slip-road from the Shell garage on the westbound carriageway of the A14 shortly before the Orwell Bridge be modified.

“We are putting the boot in to make sure that slip road is improved because it’s dangerous,” he said. “One suggestion was if the station is redesigned so that the forecourt is where the derelict restaurant is now, which would provide room to improve the slip-road.”

On Wednesday three cars and a van were involved in a collision between the Shell garage and the bridge causing the outside lane to be closed for nearly two hours during the morning rush hour.

Other suggestions included better signage in Ipswich and on the A12 and A14, as well as speeding up the sequencing of traffic lights to process traffic through the town quicker.

Mr Passmore said political pressure would have to be applied to make sure the Orwell Bridge was included in the Local Economic Plan.

He said: “One reason why we jolly-well have to sort this out is because it’s damaging the image of Suffolk as a place to come and work in and damaging the Port of Felixstowe and I don’t think it’s fair that other places are getting money spent on them and we are not, and it’s time we said we need our fair share. It’s time for the government to step up to the plate.”

All the proposals agreed at the meeting will be published on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website next week.

The meeting came the day after a four-car crash near the bridge caused traffic gridlock in Ipswich.

34 comments

  • All that will happen is the hi viz nimbys will try and direct the traffic away from their own sacred bit of turf. May I suggest that Mr Passmore et al do their current jobs as volunteers, because they are not worth whatever it is they are being paid.

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    Bernard Bright

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I can see why so many comments are repeated this site is so slow sending the comment on the submit button. ive just had to do it 3 times

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    pandy

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Sounds like a job for Captain Mainwaring and the home guard!

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    justmyopinion

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • I don't believe it! If there is a need to close the Orwell Bridge - especially for high winds - would it not be possible to use the stacking system in reverse and still allow cars to cross the bridge? Most local car drivers will find their own route through Ipswich rather than the designated diversion. Even if the northern by-pass was approved today it would be a long time before it is built.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Is it April 1st? Is this a serious proposal? I am flabbergasted at this nonsense. Why are we continually obsessed with the views of a few thousand in the northern villages when the effects of an Orwell Bridge closure are felt by tens of thousands of residents, and businesses, in Ipswich itself? The first thing that springs to mind is legality, are these proposed volunteers protected if there is a traffic accident? These people are, by definition, volunteers and not professionals. It's ludicrous, almost as if we are going back to runners with red flags. @Ian W. I agree, how about the ever expanding port putting something in to the local infrastructure. At the moment they get all the benefits with none of the drawbacks Ipswich residents have to suffer, if it carries on like this I really hope Thames Gateway turns out to be a huge success. I cannot believe Passmore is putting this forward as a serious suggestion. Shame on him.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • I can see why so many comments are repeated this site is so slow sending the comment on the submit button. ive just had to do it 3 times

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • So nothing to do with easing the traffic problem in Ipswich then - it's all about helping out the tory rich in the country villages to the north of Ipswich - the same same band of NIMBYs who are preventing a northern bypass. Money talks it seems.

    Report this comment

    Driven Roundabend

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • evening star have a look at the prats who keep repeating their comments

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Was the Chief Constable (who is responsible for operational policing) on a beach somewhere while Mr Passmore's talking shop come up with this little pearler? Why doesn't he use his previous special constables on horses (a previous idea ) to divert traffic?!

    Report this comment

    blueinblue

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Is it April 1st? Is this a serious proposal? I am flabbergasted at this nonsense. Why are we continually obsessed with the views of a few thousand in the northern villages when the effects of an Orwell Bridge closure are felt by tens of thousands of residents, and businesses, in Ipswich itself? The first thing that springs to mind is legality, are these proposed volunteers protected if there is a traffic accident? These people are, by definition, volunteers and not professionals. It's ludicrous, almost as if we are going back to runners with red flags. @Ian W. I agree, how about the ever expanding port putting something in to the local infrastructure. At the moment they get all the benefits with none of the drawbacks Ipswich residents have to suffer, if it carries on like this I really hope Thames Gateway turns out to be a huge success. I cannot believe Passmore is putting this forward as a serious suggestion. Shame on him.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Is it April 1st? Is this a serious proposal? I am flabbergasted at this nonsense. Why are we continually obsessed with the views of a few thousand in the northern villages when the effects of an Orwell Bridge closure are felt by tens of thousands of residents, and businesses, in Ipswich itself? The first thing that springs to mind is legality, are these proposed volunteers protected if there is a traffic accident? These people are, by definition, volunteers and not professionals. It's ludicrous, almost as if we are going back to runners with red flags. @Ian W. I agree, how about the ever expanding port putting something in to the local infrastructure. At the moment they get all the benefits with none of the drawbacks Ipswich residents have to suffer, if it carries on like this I really hope Thames Gateway turns out to be a huge success. I cannot believe Passmore is putting this forward as a serious suggestion. Shame on him.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • just picture the scene [ locals with a straw or clay pipe in there mouths on a trade bike].

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • And who was the one calling other people prats?

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • I don't believe it! If there is a need to close the Orwell Bridge - especially for high winds - would it not be possible to use the stacking system in reverse and still allow cars to cross the bridge? Most local car drivers will find their own route through Ipswich rather than the designated diversion. Even if the northern by-pass was approved today it would be a long time before it is built.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Was the Chief Constable (who is responsible for operational policing) on a beach somewhere while Mr Passmore's talking shop come up with this little pearler? Why doesn't he use his previous special constables on horses (a previous idea ) to divert traffic?!

    Report this comment

    blueinblue

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I don't believe it! If there is a need to close the Orwell Bridge - especially for high winds - would it not be possible to use the stacking system in reverse and still allow cars to cross the bridge? Most local car drivers will find their own route through Ipswich rather than the designated diversion. Even if the northern by-pass was approved today it would be a long time before it is built.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I wonder if Mr Passmore ever reads these comments ? he should it would tell him what most people think of him.

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • I can see why so many comments are repeated this site is so slow sending the comment on the submit button. ive just had to do it 3 times

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • I don't believe it! If there is a need to close the Orwell Bridge - especially for high winds - would it not be possible to use the stacking system in reverse and still allow cars to cross the bridge? Most local car drivers will find their own route through Ipswich rather than the designated diversion. Even if the northern by-pass was approved today it would be a long time before it is built.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Dear Crime Commission & Transport Portfolio Holder, volunteers in high viz jackets and tinkering with a service station slip roads will not address this most serious threat to Suffolk’s prosperity. Around 10,000 Ipswich & Suffolk jobs rely on these trucks getting through. When the bridge opened in 1982, 300,000 TEUS of cargo crossed the Orwell, now its heading towards 4 million. 40% of the country's entire container freight crosses the Orwell today. There is NOW, for the first time, serious competition from the new London Gateway terminal; a port as big at Felixstowe on the north bank of the Thames conveniently situated just 9 miles to motorway connections. For the major midlands distribution hubs, our Felixstowe truckers have to travel 120 miles before they meet motorway (with bottle necks at Orwell Bridge, Cambridge, Huntingdon, M6). The future prosperity of Suffolk relies on the A14, so a Northern bypass for Ipswich is not a wish, but an absolute necessity for Suffolk's future prosperity.

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    Mark Ling

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • I wonder if Mr Passmore ever reads these comments ? he should it would tell him what most people think of him.

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Has Mr Passmore finally lost the plot. Volunteers in high viz? Perhaps issue them all with speed cameras as well? Nothing that will actually solve the traffic chaos we seem to face each week. When is the next election so we can show the PCC removed?

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    swatts

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Dear Mr passmore. Yes i will volunteer under TWO conditions. Firstly I get FREE road tax. Secondly i get the policing payment on my council tax knocked off. You can contact me on 01 21 DO ONE

    Report this comment

    Mr cynical

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • I apologise that my comment has been repeated so many times. I have no idea why. In the past I have been advised that my comment has not been published because of repetition. Obviously something has gone wrong this time!

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    DALINE

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • So they want part time "I only come out when the bridge is closed" special constables and volunteer pcso's ? What an insult to the real ones. Anyhow, how are you going to get volunteers to come out and stand about in the freezing cold, blowing a gale and heavy rain ? Who is going to call them out stand them down? Captain Mainwaring or Corporal " don't panic" Jones.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Confused.com Either this is another example of bad journalism or Tim does not know what he’s talking about. These volunteers already exist and have said powers. Any Special or PCSO has the power to direct traffic. Only thing I can think of that this article is referring is to try to pre-book this resource for the planned closures, but most of the closures are unplanned accidents. Only thing that would ease the planned closures during gales, is to only exclude high sided vehicles and introduce a 30mph limit, but this also requires a certain amount of police and highways agency resource. No such thing as a voluntary PSCO, they are salaried employees, the same a regular police constables.

    Report this comment

    glen t

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Mr.Cynical...cracking comment...Dear Mr passmore. Yes i will volunteer under TWO conditions. Firstly I get FREE road tax. Secondly i get the policing payment on my council tax knocked off. You can contact me on 01 21 DO ONE

    Report this comment

    I'm right,your not!!

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I don't believe it! If there is a need to close the Orwell Bridge - especially for high winds - would it not be possible to use the stacking system in reverse and still allow cars to cross the bridge? Most local car drivers will find their own route through Ipswich rather than the designated diversion. Even if the northern by-pass was approved today it would be a long time before it is built.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I wonder if Mr Passmore ever reads these comments ? he should it would tell him what most people think of him.

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • So the haulage industry and port representatives think the public should volunteer to direct trucks through our urban roads? How about they invest in the infrastructure they make money from and police commissioner enforces the existing laws that would make the A14 safe.

    Report this comment

    IanW

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • good answer daline [ i like your stacking system.]

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Truly Mr Passmore has managed to unite everybody on this website. Only for PLANNED closure our police commisioner is going to allow people who love a little power a high viz jacket and some real power. Oh pleasehelp us.

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    The Ginge

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Don't they always love a scheme that uses volunteers and costs them nothing. This solves nothing at all, other than to give some local jobsworth types the power to play policeman now and again. We pay for professionals to do this work, we don't want OAP's in high-viz!

    Report this comment

    john

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • I wonder if Mr Passmore ever reads these comments ? he should it would tell him what most people think of him.

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

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

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