The Department for Transport has given the green light to a raft of improvements in our two councils' plans. The thinking has been to increase the use of public transport, cycling and walking. There will be no new roads, only better signage and information on car park availability. A large amount of money will be spent on integrating all the traffic signals in the town centre and building a traffic control centre which will be manned full-time to smooth and speed traffic flow.
To enhance the bus use experience, improvements to the two bus stations will be carried out (more bus stands, pedestrian crossings and less ingress for other traffic). The bus loop will be moved eastwards from Upper Brook Street/ N Northgate Street to Upper Orwell Street; and a second circular bus route is planned (railway station - Princes Street - Giles Circus - Old Cattle Market - Suffolk New College - University Campus Suffolk - Stoke Bridge - railway station). A Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) system will be installed; information panels tell users what buses go from where and when the next is coming.
For pedestrians a comprehensive and sophisticated location and sign posting scheme with interactive information screens as well as more mundane finger-posting will encourage visitors to explore the whole town and move from one part to another on foot or cycle rather than car. There will be many other more minor improvements particularly to bus stops and cycle lanes. Members with a taste for techno-governmental documents should read the 470 page document which is available at http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/TransportAndStreets/Policies/IpswichTrnsportFitForThe21stCentury.htm MIKE COOK