Ipswich: Who should have the rights to the road around new northern fringe development – town or county?

John Norman

John Norman - Credit: Andrew Partridge

As the row over traffic measures for the proposed northern fringe rumbles on, the town’s civic society has warned two local authorities have dramatically different visions of the way forward.

While the county council wants to introduce traffic controls which would effectively prevent residents of the northern fringe from joining the already-crowded roads into the town centre at rush hour, the borough prefers the concept of a “free for all” which would allow all vehicles on the roads.

Ipswich Society chairman John Norman, pictured, said it was difficult to see how the two views could be reconciled.

He said: “It is not true to say there are no solutions. The thing is the two councils have very different solutions to the problem!

“I can’t see how they can agree on this – and listening to the arguments (at the county council cabinet) it seems that each side is now taking a political standpoint.”

Allowing a free-for-all would allow residents of the new development, in the borough itself, to use the existing roads which would cause problems for drivers heading to Ipswich from towns and villages in north Suffolk.

Preventing drivers from the new development from joining the existing roads during busy periods would be good for travellers from outside the town – but would be resisted by those living on the northern fringe.

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However county council cabinet member for planning and transport Guy McGregor emphasised again that residents of the new development must be prepared to leave their cars in the garage.

He said: “We have to change the mindset of people in this country – particularly those who live in towns like Ipswich – and show them that the best option is to use public transport or other means of getting around.

“On the continent the number of cars is as high as it is here – but people use them far less. They are happy to use the bus or to cycle, or whatever for short commuting journeys – and save the car for the trips they have to make in it.”

n Do we use cars too much? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starletters@archant.co.uk