Ipswich Northern Route
On behalf of its membership, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has responded to the Ipswich Northern Route (INR) initial consultation commissioned by Suffolk County Council (SCC). Suffolk Chamber, alongside many in the wider business community has supported the principle of such a route around the north of Ipswich for many years.
Following briefings and sounding with its members, Suffolk Chamber has adopted a strategic and countywide approach which recognises the potential of a sensitively located INR to improve the flow of goods and people around the county town as well as to and from Felixstowe, the UK's largest container port, and further afield across the regional and national roads network.
A Suffolk Chamber spokesperson said: "A new road across the northern fringes of our county town could improve east-west connections and journey times and reduce congestion. It could also unlock land for housing and business growth and more generally support economic growth."
In its initial consultation, Suffolk County Council offered three potential routes for an INR and Suffolk Chamber has responded to these options. Suffolk Chamber has also indicated that it would like SCC to both supply more data to explain their focus on the three selected options and to explore other options/models/variations during any later, more detailed, consultations into this important and sensitive issue.
The key outcome that needs to be seen is a proposal that shows that by unlocking wider economic growth, for the positive benefit and impact for Suffolk, the region and the UK, then the options need to be viable and, therefore, likely to be deliverable.
Based on the three options currently being proposed by SCC, in this initial fact finding consultation, Suffolk Chamber has expressed an initial preference for the middle route, based on the information laid before it to date. The Chamber feels that this option achieves a better balance between securing resilience and other benefits for Ipswich's road system and the interests of the wider county, including the protection of its natural and built heritage, than the other two currently on offer.
"The Chamber and our members are looking forward to working with the County Council to help shape the next stage in their evidence gathering and to assist them in devising proposals that achieve a sustainable balance between the needs for a better road system around Ipswich and protecting the environment and the interests of communities to its north" added the spokesperson.