(The Action Plan area extends from Ipswich Village to Suffolk College, including the River Corridor, Cardinal Park, Ipswich Station and the Waterfront.)
The firm of Urban Initiatives was appointed by the East of England Development Agency and Ipswich Borough Council to advise on future developments in this area. The report will be presented to Ipswich Borough Council members later this month but will probably include some interesting suggestions on infrastructure improvements. Foremost amongst these are new bridges over the river. One is between Great Whip Street and Foundry Lane to create a north-south pedestrian link from the town centre to Over Stoke and Wherstead Road. Another is possible close to the weir in West End Road to provide a link between Ipswich Village and Ranelagh Road.
But the most exciting one is between the railway station and Cardinal Park to provide a direct walking route to the town centre. The approaches to town from the railway station have always been at best unattractive. This new bridge will give visitors the opportunity to walk into town along a purpose-built legible pedestrian route. The details of the exact route are still to be established but in outline as you leave the station, cross Burrell Road east of the Station Hotel and cross the new footbridge to pass in front of the multiplex cinema and along the recently repaved Cutler Street, Silent Street to the Butter-market Centre and St Stephen's Lane.
The bridge across the river at St Peter's Wharf has been mooted for some time (it could become part of National Cycle Route #1 Harwich - Hull, which in turn is part of the great North Sea Cycle Route). Engineers have been working on various designs with the remit that the bridge should provide an aesthetic solution rather than a simple engineering one. The various alternatives are due to be presented to advisory bodies including the Conservation Advisory Panel and the Waterfront Steering Group (The Ipswich Society is represented on both) in mid-November. I hope to include the chosen design and a time-scale for construction in the next Newsletter.
JOHN NORMAN, Vice-Chairman