Ipswich northern bypass opponents keep celebrations on ice

Nick Green, co-founder of the Stop the Northern Bypass campaign at the Cornhill in Ipswich. Picture:

Nick Green, co-founder of the Stop the Northern Bypass campaign at the Cornhill in Ipswich. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Opponents of plans for a northern bypass across Ipswich have put celebrations on hold – but are sure the scheme will be formally dropped by Suffolk County Council’s cabinet next month.

Nick Green from the campaign group Stop! The Ipswich Northern Bypass said he could not see how it could go any further: "We were told at the start of the process by Matthew Hicks that he needed to see support from local people and from the councils that would be affected by the new road.

"Two of the councils have rejected the proposals and so have the vast majority of people who took part in the consultation. There is no way this can go ahead - but we are cautious until we have had confirmation."

Mr Green said his campaign wanted to hear a clear, unequivocal commitment to abandoning the project to remove any threat of blight on properties that might be in the way of a new road.

Members of his group were looking at other ways of easing traffic in Ipswich.

And another council today added its voice to those opposing the new road.

John Ward, Babergh District Council's leader, said: "I welcome the publication of this detailed and thorough report, which demonstrates that there is a strong business case for an Ipswich Northern Route. Should the road be built, it is clear that it would form an important component of Ipswich's growth and prosperity this century, benefiting our county town and the whole of Suffolk.

"This is not the only consideration however, far from it. I fully recognise that there is considerable opposition to the road outside of Ipswich. These concerns need to be respected and addressed. There would also be environmental implications and significant challenges in delivering the additional housing this decade that would be required in order to secure Government backing for the scheme.

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"All things considered, I accept that the Ipswich Northern Route project should not go ahead, but feel very strongly that there must be renewed focus on improvements to key existing roads and junctions, including the Copdock interchange and Orwell Bridge. I'd like to see these areas addressed as a matter of urgency so that important progress can be made."

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