Election 2015 England

General Election 2015: Two candidates back new Ipswich bypass calls

Aerial View of the Site from South East Image copyright Ipswich Borough Council
Image caption The Northern Fringe master plan is looking at building about 3,500 homes on the edge of Ipswich

Two election candidates have backed calls for a £100m Ipswich northern bypass.

Planners are considering whether to build 3,500 homes on the 'northern fringe' of the town and are looking at which new transport links are needed.

The Liberal Democrats and English Democrats standing in Central Suffolk are in favour of a bypass.

The Conservative candidate opposed the plan while other candidates called for more studies on the scheme.

Ipswich Borough Council is considering plans for the first phase of 815 homes, on land between north Ipswich and Westerfield.

Image copyright other
Image caption The Northern Fringe covers 482 acres (195 hectares) between Ipswich and Westerfield

Ipswich is already bypassed to the south, linking A14 from the west with the A12 and the Port of Felixstowe via the Orwell Bridge.

Six candidates are standing in the Central Suffolk & North Ipswich constituency which is being defended by Conservative health minister, Dan Poulter, who was elected in 2010 with a majority of 13,786.

Mr Poulter said: "I don't agree with a northern bypass because there is good evidence from elsewhere in the country that if we look at traffic flow issues over the Orwell Bridge and manage that better, we could improve flow.

"I will be looking at how we can perhaps get a tunnel under the Orwell to deliver the improvements we need to road infrastructure."

Image caption Central Suffolk candidates took part in an election debate at BBC Radio Suffolk

Jon Neal, Liberal Democrats, said: "We're in favour of a northern bypass but we need a vision for transport for the whole of Suffolk which doesn't just look at car use.

"Cycling infrastructure is very good on the Grange Farm development in Kesgrave but that's not the case everywhere."

Jack Abbott, Labour candidate, said: "We're facing huge development with housing that is desperately needed but we'd have to take on a huge amount of land [for a bypass] and the environmental cost would be huge.

"I'm in favour of it if it works but there are so many aspects to it, I can't give a yes or no answer."


Driving instructor Mark Cole, the UKIP candidate, said: "I spend all day in a car and my natural inclination is not to pave over swathes of northern Ipswich.

"But we've got a situation where traffic is almost at a standstill and we need look at all the various options - we can't just say yes or no because it's not that black and white."

Rhodri Griffiths, Green Party, said: "We are completely unequivocal in our opposition to a bypass.

"An awful lot more people in Ipswich could be cycling but we need to make it easier to do that and neither Labour, Conservative or the Lib Dems have done anything to address this really important issue."

Tony Holyoak, English Democrats, said: "The cost of a northern bypass is a drop in the ocean next to the amount of money being wasted on the HS2 rail link and that money would be better spent on our roads.

"East Anglia is poorly-served by roads and we would welcome it, subject to the correct route being chosen, to help bring growth to the region."

The general election takes place on 7 May.

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