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Poulter presents petition opposing northern bypass to Parliament

PUBLISHED: 16:30 01 November 2019

Witnesham Parish Council chairman Chris Rush, district councillor Tony Fryatt and Dr Dan Poulter before a

Witnesham Parish Council chairman Chris Rush, district councillor Tony Fryatt and Dr Dan Poulter before a "Stop the bypass" meeting in his constituency. Picture: Office of DR DAN POULTER

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A petition calling for plans for an Ipswich northern bypass to be abandoned has been presented to Parliament by Central Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter.

The petition with more than 5,000 signatures asks the House of Commons to urge Suffolk County Council to reject proposals for a new road and look for alternative solutions to congestion in Ipswich.

Dr Poulter presented the petition on Thursday - John Bercow's last day as Speaker - and said he hoped it would show the new House of Commons that will be elected in December the strength of feeling against the road.

He said: "The petition was started in July and we have 5,372 signatures. It's still open and by the new year we may well have 10,000. The road is opposed by local councils and by two MPs (himself and Dr Therese Coffey inn Suffolk Coastal) and there are much better solutions to congestion in Ipswich."

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The document says: "The petitioners request that the House of Commons urges the government and the Department of Transport to press upon Suffolk County Council and its leader Matthew Hicks the need to reject proposals for an Ipswich Northern Bypass, and to bring forward properly evidence-based and environmentally sustainable solutions to decongesting central Ipswich."

Mr Hicks was one of the group of public sector leaders in Suffolk who organised a public consultation exercise to ask people which of three potential routes for an Ipswich Northern Route would be preferable.

The results of that consultation are still being analysed and the results are expected to be announced towards the end of the year - after the general election on December 12.

At that point the county and district councils whose leaders commissioned the consultation will have to decide whether to take it forward.

The council and Mr Hicks did not want to comment on the petition while the results of the consultation are still being analysed.

Dr Poulter and the campaigners say that the councils involved in the consultation should take a quick decision not to proceed with the road plans to remove the threat of development and property blight from many homes in communities to the north of Ipswich.

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