Hands up if you've recently taken up cycling. Wow - one million hands go up. One million additional people took up cycling during 2010, half of them cycling regularly (at least once a week). At last the balance is beginning to swing, particularly in London where congestion is getting less, pollution is not increasing at the rate it was and people are getting healthier.
In Ipswich a near £22 million scheme known within Endeavour House as ITFC21 (Ipswich Transport Fit for the 21st Century) is primarily about making improvements to road junctions that will enhance conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. There will also be improvements to the phasing of traffic lights (linked along a single corridor to avoid stop-start motoring) and major improvements for public transport, including improvements to both bus stations.
The roundabout at the junction of Civic Drive and Princes Street will be removed and replaced with traffic lights, with a pedestrian phase, to simplify the walking route between the railway station and the town centre. We are also promised electronic signs to tell us which car parks have spaces. Upper Brook Street and the Princes Street/Queen Street loop will have pedestrian priority and Lower Brook Street will be one-way southbound. St Helen's Street (outside the Dove PH) will become one-way in-bound (the inside lane becoming a bus lane) and out-bound traffic will use Woodbridge Road. A second shuttle bus will circulate between the railway station and the university via the town centre.
Twenty-one road junctions will see some change, sixteen of them in conservation areas, where 'improvements' will affect the setting of Listed buildings, changes that could swamp the site with additional street furniture, road signs and traffic bollards. The Conservation Advisory Panel has been so concerned by the proposals, extra meetings have been held to discuss issues and advise AECOM, Suffolk County Council's traffic management engineers. Work will get under way in 2012 and is not expected to be complete until 2014. You can see more detail and talk to Council officers at an exhibition in Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre Wednesday 12 October until Wednesday 19 October, including Sunday. See also the website.
John Norman, Vice-Chairman