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Suffolk parish rejects claims it's opposed to Ipswich northern bypass

PUBLISHED: 16:25 19 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:25 19 July 2019

Some people in Westerfield say its roads are being used at rat-runs. Picture; GOOGLE MAPS

Some people in Westerfield say its roads are being used at rat-runs. Picture; GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

The chair of a Suffolk parish council has denied his body is opposed to a new Northern Route for Ipswich - despite it being listed as being a supporter of the "Stop the Northern Bypass" campaign.

Westerfield Parish Council chairman Peter Miller did go to a meeting called by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter to discuss the new road - but it was not clear this would be to press to oppose it.

He said: "I went out of courtesy to the MP and because I felt we needed to find out more about the road. But when we got there, there was talk of setting up a fighting fund to oppose the road and I said we could not do that because we hadn't discussed the road yet.

"We will discuss what the parish should say once we have spoken to more of the residents - there are many views in the village. We have 400 people living here and we want to hear what they say. I am not a dictator!"

Mr Miller said many people in Westerfield did have concerns about the road - but many were also concerned about existing roads being used as a rat run for vehicles driving across the north of Ipswich and they wanted to see a new road built to ease this.

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And he emphasised that members of the council would discuss the road proposals and the consultation - once they had gauged the overall feeling of residents.

The meeting was organised by parish councillors from elsewhere on the routes proposed for the new link - and by the office of Dr Poulter.

A spokeswoman for the MP said she had not heard of any concerns raised by any of the councillors at the meeting - although she appreciated that some may have expressed private reservations to other organisers.

She said: "There was concern about the road plans which has led to the formation of the campaign to oppose the proposal - but we appreciate some people may have a different point of view."

The consultation is open until September 13, although the drop-in sessions for members of the public around the area finish at the end of this month.

The council is gauging the view of people about the three possible routes for the new road - and will then decide whether to go ahead with trying to build a business case for the new road to take to the government for a funding bid.

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