Road changes at Ransomes Europark welcomed for reducing peak time congestion

Roadworks have improved the entrance to The Havens on Ransomes Europark in Ipswich. Picture: PAUL GE

Roadworks have improved the entrance to The Havens on Ransomes Europark in Ipswich. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

Businesses operating on Ransomes Europark have welcomed the road changes in the area which have reduced congestion at peak hours.

They have congratulated two councils and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce for working together to lobby for and deliver much-needed improvements the local road network to ease traffic – which was having a major impact on their operations.

Ransomes Europark lies on the outskirts of Ipswich, close to junction 57 of the A14. It is home to about 275 business, employing more than 5,000 people.

By 2013, the park was facing significant problems caused by the number of businesses operating there outstripping the capacity of the roads to cope.

A survey by Suffolk Chamber found that 95% of firms felt the road infrastructure needed improving, many reported that traffic delays cost them at least £1,000 per month and a clear majority reported significant productivity losses due to traffic delays.

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The Chamber lobbied Suffolk County and Ipswich Borough Councils and set up a group to identify both the key highway issues and ways to funding solutions to them.

By using money from developers, £1m was made available to widen some roads, improve junctions, upgrade the display of safety messages and successfully bring in a 60mph speed limit on the nearby Orwell Bridge.

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Ian Twinley, chairman of John Grose, which is based at Ransomes Europark, said that the road network changes have made a huge difference.

He said: “Suffolk County Council took the lead on this initiative and did a tremendous job to deliver the improvements. It is fair to say that we are quick to criticise when projects take too long and don’t have the desired effect, but on this occasion they talked to local businesses, proposed logical solutions, delivered them without too much disruption and on time.

“Here we are nine months on and thousands of employees that work on the estate and around the Nacton area have benefited enormously”.

Suffolk Chamber is now working with its partners to persuade Highways England for support under the Growth and Housing Fund for further improvements at Junction 57 of the A14.

According to Suffolk Chamber chief executive John Dugmore “what has been achieved in improving the road infrastructure around Ransome Europark is a testimony to the hard work and collaborative approach to working of many different organisations.

“But there is still an unfinished part of the picture and we will be pressing Highways England with renewed purpose to address the delays at Junction 57 of the A14.”

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