Anger at traffic cens-less

VIDEO ANGRY motorists heading into Ipswich today faced heavy delays - as a census was carried out to find out ways to reduce congestion!

Naomi Cassidy

ANGRY motorists heading into Ipswich today faced heavy delays - as a census was carried out to find out ways to reduce congestion!

Several people were held up in traffic for as long as 40 minutes with some stuck in queues stretching back to Bourne Hill.

Surveys of travel were carried out in three locations across Ipswich today, including Stoke Bridge and Princes Street Bridge, where some motorists were stopped and asked a series of questions about their journey habits in a bid to plan future traffic improvements.

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Suffolk County Council commissioned the study in collaboration with Ipswich Borough Council and it was carried out by transport planning consultants Faber Maunsell with assistance from contractors.

This is the first time such a comprehensive study has been done since 1992.

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The census began yesterday and there will be more carried out tomorrow, and for a further six days over the next two weeks. In total there will be 36 stop checks at different locations over 12 days.

The census caused queues along Wherstead Road and Belstead Road and many motorists got frustrated and began turning around to find alternative routes.

Yesterday the census caused delays for traffic using Norwich Road.

Peter Brewster, regional director of Count On Us, the survey company carrying out the questionnaire, said: “The idea is to understand normal traffic patterns. Although these things can cause congestion, it is actually to reduce congestion.”

A statement from Faber Maunsell said: “Most surveys can be carried out without inconveniencing the travelling public, and some information is available from travel operators.

“Some surveys, however, notably those to understand the complex travel patterns of private motorists and road haulage, involve stopping a small sample and asking about their trips.

“This is done only in locations which have been discussed with the police and traffic authorities, have been judged to be safe, and to minimise delays and inconvenience to travellers.

“The survey results will be used to plan future transport system improvements, such as new traffic, bus and cycle schemes. They will also assist in the understanding of the transport implications of new development s and regeneration of under-used areas in and around Ipswich.”

- Motorists views:-

Motorists caught up in delays were none too happy about it.

Sharon Spooner from Shotley said: “I was waiting in a queue for 20 minutes. It is never normally this long. I have missed my early bird parking now and I'm late for work.”

Tim Colson, 44, from Felixstowe, said: “I was at Bourne Hill at 8.25am and it has taken me until 9.05am to get to Stoke Bridge. “This is normally the best route in to Ipswich from Felixstowe but I have been waiting for ages here. You can get held up in traffic now and again but it is never this bad.”

Constance Jeffrey, from Woolverstone, said: “We do not usually make this journey but have been stuck in traffic for about ten minutes. We have never been held up like this before.”

Another motorist travelling from Dedham said: “It normally takes five minutes from Bourne Hill into Stoke Bridge but today, it has taken 25 minutes. I was meant to be in a classroom at 9am but that hasn't happened.

“I don't understand why they have to do this during the rush hour.”

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