East Suffolk: Four villages will have to wait for A12 by-pass
The four villages on the A12 who have been campaigning for decades for a by-pass will have to wait longer after there was no mention of them in the government’s new investment package outlined today.
However there will be £1.8 million for Ipswich to finish off making improvements to its road network by improving the corridors into the town centre.
There is no new money at this stage for a by-pass for the villages of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham between Wickham Market and Saxmundham – but there are suggestions this could be included in subsequent bids for government funding, especially if EDF goes ahead with a third nuclear power station at Sizewell.
Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey said it was important for the county and district councils to work with the LEP, and central government to ensure that such a by-pass remained on the political agenda.
The cost of a new road had been estimated at about £32 million for a single carriageway and £56 million for a dual carriageway in 2006 – but those figures are expected to have increased considerably since then with the latest estimates for a six-mile long dual carriageway put at up to £100 million.
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Dr Coffey said: “We need to get everyone working together on this. It would be a big project and needs to remain in the public eye.”
As well as being vital for Suffolk Coastal, a by-pass would also be a boost for the Waveney area which is part of the “Green Energy” hub of the 21st century.
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The New Anglia LEP is expected to work with local authorities and energy giant EDF to ensure that a new by-pass is included in plans for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell.
In Ipswich Key roads that need improvement are Norwich Road, where rush-hour congestion is a daily fact of life between the Asda roundabout and the Bury Road lights, and London Road where there is frequent congestion – prompting rat-running through the Chantry Estate.
Other routes expected to be improved are Felixstowe Road and Woodbridge Road.
The changes will continue the work of the Travel Ipswich programme which has led to significant changes in the town centre. That still has to be completed, and full computer control still has to be introduced.
The next phase of work on the roads of Ipswich is expected to start in two years’ time – and was welcomed by the town’s MP Ben Gummer.
He said: “This is magnificent news for the region as a whole and especially for Ipswich which will see some major improvements in its roads network.
“We have actually got more than we initially asked for, and the road improvements into Ipswich should improve the town enormously,” he said.