Clever politicians throw their weight behind projects that are likely to succeed and avoid those that will be a long time coming. Thus we can guess that the proposals to build additional bridges over the Orwell and the New Cut are likely to happen sooner rather than later.
However the rationale for the biggest of these bridges is debatable and the methodology used to establish a need questionable. Certainly, by using the calculations employed in northern Europe a different outcome would be likely (but then Holland and Denmark understand the value of sustainable transport).
In March 2016 Suffolk County Council received provisional funding of approximately 77 million pounds from the Department for Transport for the Upper Orwell Crossings project. This enabled a feasibility study and the initial design to be instigated.
CROSSING 1 is a major new road crossing the open water between Hawes Street (Wherstead Road) and Landseer Road, a bridge which would connect the east and west banks of the Orwell. This crossing would be for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. Details of the actual route, the height and the method of allowing yachts to pass beneath the bridge are still at the planning stage.
CROSSING 2 is a new local road, across the New Cut, which will connect the west bank (Stoke Quay) to the Island (probably running between Felaw Street and New Cut East). This bridge would be for all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians (but would be the only access onto the Island for vehicles). Thus it would enable the under-developed land on the Island to become a business and technology centre. It is likely that housing and leisure facilities would also be included.
(Note that The Last Anchor restaurant and Ipswich Haven Marina are on the Island.)
CROSSING 3 is a new (small) bridge over the Prince Philip Lock: access onto the Island from Ship Launch Road. This crossing would be for cyclists and pedestrians only, but would re-open the route from Stoke Bridge to Cliff Quay across the Island. It is likely this would be a moveable bridge to enable yachts to pass through the lock and would supplement the existing swing bridge.
The rationale behind the bid (for funding) was to open up land for development thus creating the potential for more jobs. Relieving traffic on Star Lane and College Street was a secondary consideration, but this was the key rationale picked up by the public during the consultation. Our initial investigations indicate that it will not reduce vehicles on the existing Star Lane / College Street gyratory' to the extent imagined by some correspondents. In fact we know that new roads bring additional vehicles, additional distances travelled by existing road users and, after a short honeymoon, more congestion.
We do, of course, welcome the opportunity to develop underused land close to the river south of the wet dock and the use of the Island as a technology centre connected to the University.