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Upper Orwell Crossings

July 28, 2017 8:37 AM
By Councillor Oliver Holmes
Ipswich MP, Sandy Martin, called into question the validity of the proposed new bridge over the Orwell within hours of being elected. Perhaps naively, he suggested Ipswich needed a reallocation of funding towards a northern bypass although it is now universally accepted (including within the Ipswich Labour group) that this cannot happen. So where do we stand in relation to the three new crossings over the River Orwell?
Firstly, David Ellesmere has confirmed at a full meeting of Ipswich Borough Council that all decisions on the crossings are being made by Suffolk County Council and that any confusion over the future of the crossings is down to communication problems within Suffolk CC. Ipswich resident Liz Alexander directly raised a number of points at the recent Borough Council meeting but received no indication of the position of the Executive on the merits or problems of these crossings. It would seem that the Ipswich Labour Executive have no opinion either way on a £100 million investment in the town.
So, what should Ipswich Liberal Democrats make of what the Tories call Ben's Bridges? Essentially, it means do we want new crossings or not. There is no link to any other road scheme in Ipswich - the Northern Bypass is a completely separate issue. Given the extensive research showing the improvements to traffic congestion in east Ipswich and the hugely positive economic benefits to the future of the Town, there must be a high bar for those residents who want to oppose the crossings. But Lib Dems have never shirked from such challenges to orthodox thought in the past and so any comments will be gratefully received! Do you live on either side of the proposed main bridge or do you doubt the suggested financial gains? Please post your thoughts.
Oliver Holmes