Ipswich: Engineers working on controversial Civic Drive junction

Civic Drive Junction from the roof of The Willis Building

Civic Drive Junction from the roof of The Willis Building - Credit: Archant

Work to make the controversial junction between Civic Drive and Princes Street in Ipswich better for motorists should be completed in the early autumn once other road works are completed.

That was the pledge from county council engineers as motorists become frustrated with the new road network.

There are several issues outstanding with the junction – at present the traffic lights have not been linked in with other lights on the route, which means vehicles can be held up by several different lights before getting through.

Once they are linked up, traffic should find once one set of lights has turned green they should be able to make good progress through others.

A major problem is the use of the bus stop at the bottom of Civic Drive outside the Curve Bar. Buses using this then try to turn right heading towards Ipswich station and blocking both lanes of Civic Drive.

This causes major congestion, especially during the afternoon peak. It can take up to 20 minutes to travel from the St Matthews Street Roundabout to Novotel – a distance of half a mile.

Engineer Clive Wilkinson said these problems should be eased when the work on Museum Street is completed and buses return to that route.

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He said: “We are aware there is a major problem at the bottom of Civic Drive and it happens during the afternoon peak.

“We are talking to the bus operators to see what can be done – but once Museum Street is reopened that bus stop will be very rarely used.”

The council is looking at improving signs approaching the new junction, making it clear that the right-hand lane is only for traffic turning right – at present many drivers think both lanes can be used to go straight ahead and have to swerve to the left of the road at the last minute.

“We had thought drivers, especially those using the road at peak times, would get to understand the layout – but it might be necessary to improve signs,” Mr Wilkinson said.

There have been other problems away from the carriageway – new seats installed outside Curve Bar have had to be fenced off because they were used by skateboarders and BMX riders, and were in danger of being damaged.

The county is currently working out how to prevent skateboarders from using the area.