Ipswich: Residents see red at traffic lights proposal

Traffic queues are not uncommon on Bishop's Hill

Traffic queues are not uncommon on Bishop's Hill

Proposals to install another set of traffic lights at the top of Bishop’s Hill in east Ipswich have sparked new anger among residents and drivers who use roads in the area.

The new lights had been due to be installed during the autumn as part of the new Travel Ipswich scheme which is aimed at smoothing traffic to and from the town centre.

However this has been delayed while there is more consultation with residents about the impact on traffic in the area.

County councillor with responsibility for transport Graham Newman spoke at a meeting of the borough’s south east area forum on Tuesday – and received a frosty reception from residents at the meeting.

Former Conservative borough council leader Liz Harsant said many people feared lights at the junction of Felixstowe Road and Nacton Road would make things much worse.

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She said: “At the moment things usually work reasonably well at that point, but if there are lights holding up traffic it will cause problems for vehicles going in or out of the town.

“People are worried about vehicles waiting for the lights to change with their engines running just pouring more fumes into the air.

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“And it will be particularly difficult for traffic heading out of town who have to do hill starts – at the moment it is not that difficult getting out of the town once you have got to Bishop’s Hill.”

However Mr Newman insisted the new lights would be linked with other traffic lights being installed in the area to allow convoys of traffic to pass through.

“Once you have gone through one set of traffic lights you should find the others in front of you are ready and let you straight through – that is the theory.

“However we are aware there are concerns and so we will put back the work a bit to talk to people about those worries, but this is a key part of the Travel Ipswich scheme.”

The county was also expected to press ahead with the installation of lights at Norwich Road/Valley Road.

That project has been delayed because the Highways Agency plans to close the A14 overnight on occasions during August for essential road works and Norwich Road will be the diversion route.

Mr Newman said: “These projects are vital to Travel Ipswich, and if we pulled out of them now the town, and indeed the whole of Suffolk would not get funding for further major projects.”

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starnews@archant.co.uk

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