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Ipswich northern bypass result on the way - but no decision soon

PUBLISHED: 07:30 17 January 2020

Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks is preparing to publish the results of the consultation. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks is preparing to publish the results of the consultation. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The findings of the consultation into plans for a new northern bypass across Ipswich are to be published by the end of this month - but any decision on what happens next is still likely to be some time away.

There have been protests over proposals for an Ipswich northern bypass. Picture: Neil DidsburyThere have been protests over proposals for an Ipswich northern bypass. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The consultation on three possible routes for a new road finished in September and the responses have been analysed by officials working on behalf of Suffolk's local council leaders.

The findings had been due to be published in November, but the publication was postponed because of the general election campaign.

They are now due to come out at the end of the month - and will then prove the foundations for further discussions by Suffolk's council leaders.

It was the leaders' group that unanimously decided to commission the report which asked for views about three possible routes for a new road - called the Northern Route - to ease congestion in Ipswich and open up more land for development.

Potential routes for the new Northern Route around Ipswich. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILPotential routes for the new Northern Route around Ipswich. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

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However it is thought unlikely that those leaders will be so unanimous when the next stage discussing what to do about the road is discussed as opposition has grown in rural areas.

There is a growing feeling that Suffolk should concentrated on getting government support to improve the A14 in the county - especially the Copdock Mill roundabout to the south of Ipswich - and with both Dr Dan Poulter and Dr Therese Coffey registering strong objections to a new road it is thought unlikely that Mid Suffolk or East Suffolk councils would be enthusiastic about any new road.

Dr Poulter is due to meet Mr Hicks to discuss the next way forward and members of the Stop The Nothern Bypass campaign delivered part of a petition to Endeavour House this week.

They have launched a fighting fund in a bid to finance a legal challenge in future if they fear that the council's are pushing ahead with proposals to build a new road.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said after Thursday's meeting: "Ipswich Northern Route is a collaborative project involving all the local authorities in Suffolk.

"The Strategic Outline Business Case is to be sent to Suffolk Public Sector Leaders so that they can consider the findings and provide their views. The SOBC will be published before the end of this month."

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