Uni crossing is driving motorists mad

IRATE motorists today blamed a “total lack of joined-up thinking” for the traffic nightmare being caused by the newly opened university pedestrian crossing in Ipswich.

IRATE motorists today blamed a “total lack of joined-up thinking” for the traffic nightmare being caused by the newly opened university pedestrian crossing in Ipswich.

The fuming dissenters have questioned those responsible for dreaming up the traffic-light controlled crossing in Fore Street, which has exacerbated an already gridlocked area of the town.

Rush-hour travellers trying to get into town say they have faced delays of up to 20 minutes while queuing along Bishop's Hill, Back Hamlet and Duke Street.

And the ripple effect is also being felt along the one-way system, with traffic snarled up along Star Lane and Grimwade Street.

Motorist Geoff Mallett said: “I am very impressed with the new building as part of the Waterfront area. However, what idiot decided that another pedestrian crossing controlled by a set of traffic lights would be a good idea?

“Why was an underpass or even a pedestrian bridge not considered? Is this penny-pinching or just another example of a total lack of joined up thinking?”

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The crossing opened earlier this month to allow students to access the University Campus Suffolk's Waterfront building, which held its first lectures on Monday.

But there are fears the congestion will escalate further as more students start using the crossing and has led to calls for longer-term improvements to the roads around the Waterfront.

Peter Verney, another jaded driver from Ipswich, said: “The borough council planners have failed their taxpayers utterly by failing to require the various developers in the area to contribute to road improvements which could have prevented this.

“This of course has serious consequences for businesses in the town and serves to make Ipswich an even less desirable place in which to live and work.”

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “We are aware of people's concerns but we have to provide safe crossing facilities for people accessing not only the university but others parts of the growing Waterfront development.”

Has your journey to and from work been more stressful since the opening of the crossing? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

A footbridge over the road, however this could prove costly

A subway-style tunnel - this would likely cost even more

Removing the traffic lights and diverting people towards the zebra crossing 100 yards further down the road at the junction with Grimwade Street

The stretch of Fore Street affected by the new set of traffic lights is just a few hundred yards from the Star Lane gyratory system - one of the town's major traffic hotspots.

The area is notorious for lengthy queues of traffic throughout the day, with the situation becoming worse in recent years due to the construction of major new developments on Ipswich Waterfront.

The gyratory system has been flagged up as a pollution hotspot in the town as a result of slow-moving and stationary vehicles emitting dangerous nitrogen dioxide fumes.

Other pinch points in the town include Chevallier Street at the junction with Norwich Road and St Margaret's Street.

Town chiefs are currently working up plans to improve traffic flow at each of the sites, ironically one idea involves the removal of a pedestrian crossing.

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