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Stowmarket: Town’s “gridlocked” transport system to be overhauled

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 June 2014

Stowmarket's town centre

Stowmarket's town centre

Archant

Work expecting to bring major improvements to a town centre which is often gridlocked at peak periods is on track, according to the Suffolk County Council.

Following a “summit meeting” over congestion in Stowmarket a project to connect the town’s traffic lights at key points with a major new computer system in Ipswich began.

Improvements to junctions in Gipping Way, which is one of the main roads linking the town to the A14, are also due.

Gary Green, county councillor for Stowmarket North and Stowupland, called the meeting in December.

He said: “The congestion cannot get any worse, when it’s bad, it’s really bad. During the day it’s generally fine but when it’s at peak it is awful and there can be long delays.

“When the homes and employment developments are in place over the next 20 years there will be even more cars and so we will have to see how it works then. How much more traffic can the town take?”

Around 1,500 homes, including the new Chilton Leys development, are expected to be built in the town over the next 13 years.

Mr Green said engineers had made manual changes to the traffic lights’ timings but real improvement was expected when the system is connected to Ipswich.

The new system in the county town should enable technicians to monitor traffic flow throughout Stowmarket.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “Work to connect to the county council’s urban traffic management system to the three key junctions on Gipping Way is progressing well.

“Designs have now been approved and we are in the process of applying for a traffic regulation order to make the changes possible. If approved, we would expect construction to start in the autumn.”

Engineers from the council were called to answer questions after concerns were expressed that motorists were getting stuck in long queues for up to 20 minutes.

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