Residents angry over junction work

IPSWICH: Residents’ anger over changes to a town centre junction threatened to boil over at a heated meeting with county council staff.

About 70 people turned out to the meeting last night in the University Campus Suffolk building on the Waterfront to discuss the work currently underway at the Duke Street junction with Fore Hamlet.

County council cabinet member Guy McGregor and engineer David Watson were there to explain the changes to the road.

Many residents felt that the county had “jumped the gun” by going ahead with the work before all the orders changing the traffic flows along Duke Street and Back Hamlet had been agreed.

Resident and businesswoman Mitzi Read said: “How on earth can you be going ahead with this work when you only advertised the traffic orders in July and the consultation period has not ended yet.

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“How can the work you are doing possibly be legal.”

Mr McGregor said the traffic orders were not necessary to undertake the major work – turning the Duke Street roundabout into a traffic light-controlled junction.

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But he conceded they were needed to prevent traffic coming down Back Hamlet and expected the orders to be confirmed by the county council in September.

He said: “The funding for this scheme was made available by the previous government and we had to act very quickly which is why the orders have only recently been advertised.”

The initial work was being undertaken under emergency orders which he was expecting to be made permanent in September.

Peter Goodwin of Titchmarsh and Goodwin, in Back Hamlet, told the meeting he had struggled to find anyone in favour of the work among local residents.

He said: “Why could the roundabout not just have been left. We didn’t need the �3.2 million from the previous government to create this mess.” This comment provoked a round of applause from those at the meeting.

Mr Watson said in his experience people were often opposed to changes to road systems before they started and during the construction phase – but soon got used to them and accepted them.

He said: “In a year’s time we may all be asking what all the fuss was about.”

Will the Duke Street work make travel in Ipswich better? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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