Latest Stories

In this article taken from his column in Friday's Ipswich Star, Ipswich's new MP, Sandy Martin sets out his position on the Upper Orwell Crossings project.  

When I first saw the Upper Orwell Crossings project I was surprised that it included not only 2 bridges to the Wet-Dock island but also a large arched bridge carrying traffic high over the upper docks area without accessing the island at all. 

I am fully in favour of developing the wet dock island. 

 

We need to enhance the tourist and boat-building potential on the island, and also to introduce some University-linked activity there.  To do that we need to have access at the south end of the island, both for traffic including lorries and for pedestrians and cyclists. The Borough, the County, the Chamber of Commerce, Ipswich Vision, the Business Improvement District, the Local Enterprise Partnership, Associated British Ports, almost all the local businesses and all the political parties in Ipswich agree about these two bridges.
I do not intend to do anything to jeopardise the building of these two bridges. 
But the big bridge has nothing to do with the regeneration of the island site.  It’s meant to relieve congestion in Ipswich Town Centre and I’m not at all clear how it’s going to do that.
The whole business case for the bridge assumes it will divert thousands of vehicles every day from the A14 on to Ipswich’s already busy roads. It will effectively turn Ipswich into a bypass for the A14. It will massively increase the traffic in Cliff Lane, Clapgate Lane, Landseer Road, Station Street, Stonelodge Lane, Wherstead Road and many other roads, increasing congestion, not relieving it.
The big bridge is supposed to help link the town centre and Waterfront and enable development in the Star Lane area. But the only way it can do this is if the old plans to make Star Lane two-way are revived.  If College and Key Street were even partially closed there would be horrendous extra traffic in Crown Street and other routes north of the Town Centre. 
 
When the Orwell Bridge is fully or partially closed – something which seems to be happening more and more frequently – the new crossing will drag even more lorries off the A14, along Nacton Road and Landseer Road, over the bridge high above the Waterfront, and then down onto Wherstead Road.  Surely it has to be better to take them up the A12 and across to the Bury Rd junction via a new northern route.
There are still many unanswered questions about the potentially negative impact the big bridge would have on the operation of the port and the marina.
 
I have spoken to several people associated with the project who, in private, express grave doubts about the practicality, deliverability and usefulness of the big bridge.  People on the doorstep in roads affected convinced me that there were large numbers of people who felt their lives would be blighted by the extra traffic if the bridge was ever built.
 
That’s when I decided to make the attempt to get the Department for Transport to look again at the big bridge and to ask if they would transfer the money to a Northern Bypass instead.  I put a pledge to do this on virtually every piece of election material the Labour Party distributed, and mentioned it at virtually every hustings and on every radio interview. My position on this bridge cannot have been a sudden shock to anybody.
 
It is not my decision whether this bridge is built or not. If the County Council and Government want to build the bridge, then the bridge will be built, whether I object to it or not. But if I can get people to look again at the project, and if it becomes apparent to them that there is a better way forward, I might be able to save our town, and our county, and the taxpayers of Britain, millions of pounds in unnecessary development costs for a project that will not go ahead.

A bridge too far?

In this article taken from his column in Friday's Ipswich Star, Ipswich's new MP, Sandy Martin sets out his position on the Upper Orwell Crossings project.   When I first...

On Thursday June 8th people who have reached 18 years of age have the opportunity to vote for a Member of Parliament (MP) for Ipswich. In the last General Election in 2015 only 40% of young people aged 18 to 25 voted.  That means that around 7,500 young people in Ipswich didn’t vote at all.

Sandy_Waterfront_1200x638.jpg

Labour candidate Sandy Martin is encouraging younger people to vote on Thursday

The Conservative Government knows that most young people do not vote, and that is why they feel able to treat them with utter contempt. This government has:

  • Tripled Tuition fees
  • Abolished Educational Maintenance Allowance
  • Refused to raise the Minimum Wage for under-25s
  • Failed to support Concessionary Bus Fares Schemes for young people
  • Removed Housing Benefit for under 21s, at just the time when most people are unable to afford rents without some support

The present Conservative Government also has a dire record on undermining environmental programmes like renewable energy and recycling and clean air. The Tories are now talking about bringing back foxhunting, although we know that the vast majority of people are opposed to that. Theresa May’s “hard Brexit” plans are likely to rob you of decent jobs in the UK in the future, and make it more difficult to study or work in Europe.  And to add insult to injury, the Tories are trying to get older people to blame their pensions cuts on younger people as if it were somehow your fault. Ben Gummer talks about “intergenerational theft” – but it’s the Tory Government which has stolen away your opportunities just as much as they have stolen pension rights from older people.

Lots of young people get involved in Change.Org or Avaaz, and some of them go on marches or attend events. But actually, the only way you can change the government is by voting.

You will only get one vote, and only the candidate with the most votes will get elected. If you vote for a candidate who has no chance of winning then your vote will not have any effect. But if you vote Labour, you will get a Labour MP who:

  • Supports a £10 per hour minimum wage for all – including 18 to 25 year olds
  • Supports building Council houses in Ipswich, so you will have a home of your own when you start a family – unlike the present Ipswich MP
  • Supports abolishing tuition fees and reintroducing maintenance grants
  • Supports concessionary bus fares and housing benefit for young people
  • Has a proud record of fighting for the environment, and for the Single Market

If you don’t vote to remove the Conservatives they will continue to ignore your needs.

Voting is extremely easy and takes almost no time. All you have to do is to go into your local polling station on Thursday June 8th and put a cross on a bit of paper against the name of the candidate you are voting for.  If you are at all unsure how to do it, why not look at labour.org.uk/pollingstation which will give you an easy guide.

If you vote for me, and I am elected, I can act as the champion for young people in Ipswich. If you don’t, I can’t. It’s as simple as that.

Younger People in Ipswich must choose – Vote! – or lose your voice

On Thursday June 8th people who have reached 18 years of age have the opportunity to vote for a Member of Parliament (MP) for Ipswich. In the last General Election...

Labour_Today_1200x628.png

Labour Today is being delivered across Ipswich ahead of the General Election on Thursday June 8.

Download a free copy here.

If you can support Sandy's campaign by delivering Labour Today in your area please get in touch.

Read our latest Labour Today newspaper

Labour Today is being delivered across Ipswich ahead of the General Election on Thursday June 8.

More Stories >

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.