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Why Ipswich needs better priority for road repairs revealed

PUBLISHED: 05:30 26 October 2018

Left (Ellenbrook Green) Middle (Goldcrest Road) and Right (Denton Close) Picture: COLIN SMART

Left (Ellenbrook Green) Middle (Goldcrest Road) and Right (Denton Close) Picture: COLIN SMART

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Ipswich’s position as a key town in Suffolk for leisure and retail means better road maintenance is vital, it has been claimed.

Councillor Phil Smart

 said better classification of Ipswich's roads would be needed to make a case for better central government funding for road repairs Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCILCouncillor Phil Smart said better classification of Ipswich's roads would be needed to make a case for better central government funding for road repairs Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

Ipswich Borough Council’s scrutiny committee on Thursday discussed a series of measures put forward by its task group following weeks of assessment of how the town’s roads are repaired.

Among the proposals were calls for a long term programme to repair concrete roads that had outlived their lifespan, better communication over road closures and a review of how Ipswich roads are prioritised.

Speaking during the debate, Labour councillor Phil Smart, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said the town’s position meant a review was vital.

“Ipswich will continue to be the travel to educate, travel to retail, travel to health and travel to entertainment area for about half of Suffolk’s population before it becomes easier to travel to Bury St Edmunds or wherever,” he said.

Stephen Ion said the money on a review may be better spent on repairs Picture: CONTRIBUTEDStephen Ion said the money on a review may be better spent on repairs Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“Other people in Suffolk are benefitting from that on Ipswich roads.”

Mr Smart pointed to development around Ipswich’s suburbs such as Martlesham and Pinewood as also being key to the town’s roads needing to be maintained properly.

Work by the task group revealed Ipswich’s roads had not been reclassified since 2004, when traffic volume and population figures were lower.

Mr Smart added that a case for better funding being put to central government could only be made based on up-to-date classifications.

Concerns were raised over how much a review of the town’s roads would cost, when that was cash that could be used on making repairs.

Questions were also raised over whether it was fair for Ipswich’s roads to be reviewed while other areas in Suffolk weren’t.

Conservative Stephen Ion said: “I think it’s difficult to ask the county council to do something that’s a large scheme that takes lots of money and time and that could be better spent doing the work they do at the moment.

“I think it is reasonable to ask when they are next going to review it but with some explanation of the cost.

“Traffic has increased in Ipswich but it has increased in other parts of Suffolk too.”

The committee resolved that chief executive Russell Williams will write to Suffolk Highways outlining the suggestions.

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