New park and ride costs soar

THE cost of building the controversial park-and-ride site on the east of Ipswich has soared by nearly £500,000, new figures released yesterday revealed.

By Richard Smith

THE cost of building the controversial park-and-ride site on the east of Ipswich has soared by nearly £500,000, new figures released yesterday revealed.

It is costing an extra £374,000 to build the scheme next to the A12/A1214 roundabout at Martlesham and another £40,000 is required to complete the purchase of the land from a private buyer.

The annual progress report of the draft local transport plan also reveals that another £77,000 is required for the archaeological work.


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Suffolk County Council originally estimated it would cost £2.87m for the 550-car site on the north-west corner of Martlesham opposite the police headquarters.

But now the final figure is expected to be nearly £3.4m although the county emphasised yesterday that it was expected the Government would fund the shortfall.

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A spokeswoman for the county's environment and transport department said: ''The park-and-ride project has been funded by the Government and we will be looking to the Government to fund the shortfall. This shortfall (which comes from additional land costs, high tenders and a sum of money for archaeology) will therefore have no impact on any other Suffolk County Council scheme.''

Suffolk councillors were warned last year that the Martlesham project could only be financed by decimating spending on integrated transport and road safety schemes if the Government did not give more money.

The county council was awarded a further £1m in funding with the promise of an extra £345,000 if the scheme progressed successfully. The £491,000 shortfall has been identified since then.

The draft local transport plan said that all of the integrated transport budget for this year had been allocated to schemes and the council did not want to disappoint communities by removing projects from the published works programme.

Work on the site has been progressing for several months and now contractors have started to make alterations to the roundabout to put in traffic lights and a new access to the site for cars.

These improvements started last week and since then congestion has built up on the A12 and surrounding roads.

Archaeologists found the remnants of a Bronze Age settlement and pottery and flint when they worked alongside builders before Easter.

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