I was delighted to move into my new flat just off the Waterfront a couple of months ago. Never before have I lived by the water, so it makes a pleasant change. However, I see it as my job to campaign for things that will make Ipswich an even better place to live.
One of these priorities is transport. For me, the overriding infrastructure priority needs to be a northern bypass! When it comes to campaigning for this I plan to leave no stone left unturned. So far I’ve met with officials from the Department for Transport on two occasions and the County Council leader, to make clear my strong support. Interestingly, I also had a long chat with the Secretary of State for International Trade about it as well. Stressing to him the importance of a northern bypass from the perspective of our country’s largest and busiest sea container port: the Port of Felixstowe.
This issue needs to be covered from multiple angles and I will not shy away from being robust in calling for significant financial investment from the Government. Ipswich needs and deserves better transport infrastructure and less traffic. Rest assured, I’m on the case!
candidate for Ipswich
Works to improve St Peter’s Wharf in Ipswich are due to start in the new year. The work,
which is being delivered by Suffolk County Council (SCC) in partnership with Ipswich
Borough Council (IBC), will provide a better experience for pedestrians and cyclists travelling through the wharf and will further improve the Waterfront area.
The aim of the scheme is to enhance the area by introducing footways and a clearly defined
carriageway. A seating area will be created along with the installation of trees and bicycle
parking. The addition of trees and seating area will provide an area for people to relax and take in the Waterfront surroundings and with the footway on the southern side raised to
allow views across the New Cut.
The works, which will begin on the 7 January 2019, will take place along the wharf between
Stoke Bridge, Bridge Street and Foundry Lane, opposite Dance East. The scheme has been designed to cater for the high number of pedestrians and cyclists that use the area as well as accommodating large vehicles accessing the Port. Funding for the scheme, which will cost in the region of £750,000, was secured via a bid to the Coastal Community Fund by Ipswich Vision.
Paul West. Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich, communities and waste
said; “I am delighted that this work is taking place, a lot of development has taken place on
the waterfront over the past few years and St Peter’s Wharf has become a much-used route
for road users. These vital improvements will mean that visitors to the waterfront whether
it be pedestrians, cyclist or motorists have the opportunity to enjoy the St Peter’s Wharf area.”
Terry Hunt, chairman of the Ipswich Vision board said; “This is an incredibly important
gateway to our wonderful waterfront and these enhancements will enable this prominent
part of our town to give a much-improved impression to residents and visitors. This
scheme is another crucial example of the exciting regeneration of our county town.”
It is predicted that the scheme will take up to six months to complete due to improvements
that will need to be made to underground infrastructure. The work which will be delivered
six days a week (Monday – Saturday between 7am – 5pm) must also be completed in stages
to ensure full access is maintained for all road users throughout the work.
For the duration of the scheme, there will be an out-bound lane closure in place and
traffic exiting the dock will be required to exit via Foundry Lane. Temporary traffic signals
will also be operational at times throughout the scheme. The signals will be manually
controlled, including peak times from 7am to 7pm each working day. This is to alleviate
delays and traffic queues.
The overwhelming transport infrastructure priority for Ipswich is a northern relief road. Over the past month it’s been made clear to me whoever I’ve spoken to just how important this is for the Town. The reality is that this infrastructure should have been delivered 20/30 years ago but it hasn’t and the people of Ipswich have paid the price for this through increasing levels of traffic.
As long as I’ve been alive the whole of East Anglia hasn’t received the level of investment it needs to upgrade its transport infrastructure. This is definitely the case in Ipswich. Whatever the colour of the Government of the day, the adequate level of investment in transport infrastructure hasn’t been forthcoming. Challenging this is a key priority for me.
I have already met with the Leader of Suffolk County Council, Councillor Matthew Hicks to impress upon him the importance of the road for Ipswich and have a number of further meetings arranged over the next few weeks with other key stakeholders. Securing the investment for this road won’t be easy but my view is that we need to be ambitious in demanding Ipswich’s fair share when it comes to infrastructure investment.
I welcome the fact that in this year’s budget statement the Government have made £30 billion available for road upgrades across the country. East Anglia must get its fair share of this investment and a northern relief road for Ipswich must be near the top of the list of regional priorities.
I pledge to the people of Ipswich that over the coming years, as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary candidate I will fight tooth and nail to get action on this issue! I strongly believe that I have the skills, drive and knowledge to make an impact.
Over the coming months I will provide regular updates regarding where I’m at regarding the campaign following the meetings I currently have in my diary.