Suffolk Says: Road network seen as biggest problem facing county

Councillors Mary Evans and Matthew Hicks. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Councillors Mary Evans and Matthew Hicks. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk’s road network and potholes emerged as a huge concern for our readers – with almost half rating the roads as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

X marks the spot - another pothole waiting repair Picture: PA

X marks the spot - another pothole waiting repair Picture: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Just 1% of our “Suffolk Says” survey responders rate the county’s roads as “excellent”, with 14% rating them as “good” and 37% as average. Of those that took part, 34% said transport infrastructure was the biggest problem facing Suffolk.

Councillor Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: “If you live, visit or work in Suffolk you will at some point need to use our roads.

“It’s one of the truly universal services the county council provides.

“It’s therefore no surprise that highways is one of the hottest topics in Suffolk.

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“For that very reason, we’ve already launched a major review of the way our roads are managed.

“The Suffolk Says survey results are further proof that it’s the right time for a fundamental review of the way we work.

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“There is a lot of good practice that goes unnoticed or unrecognised. But I believe – and clearly so do residents – that there are improvements that can and must be made. What’s working well will be continued, and what’s not will be improved or, if needs be, ripped up and started again.”

A council spokesman added that the council had repaired double the number of potholes since January than in the same time period last year, with more than 12,000 repaired in more than 6,500 locations in Suffolk.

He said it is on track to surface dress 1,000 miles of road by 2021 using £21 million of additional money agreed earlier this year.

Asked what road scheme would most benefit the county, the vast majority of readers said the Ipswich Northern Bypass – with 52% of the vote.

Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s leader, said: “Suffolk County Council is fully committed to delivering the Ipswich northern relief road for Ipswich, Suffolk and the UK economy as a whole.

“We’ve already secured funding from Suffolk Public Sector Leaders to build the business case, which should be completed this year. This is a vital step in the process towards securing Government funding for the project. Repeated Orwell Bridge closures show time and again that Ipswich needs a northern relief road.”

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