A recent survey by the Commission for Integrated Transport shows that Britain has the most gridlocked roads in Europe, writes Ipswich Council Leader, David Ellesmere.
If the transport systems in other towns and cities in the UK are run the same way Conservative-run Suffolk County Council treats Ipswich, I can well believe this.
The failures of Suffolk County Council's “Travel Ipswich” programme are well-known though still not admitted or addressed by Conservative county councillors.
The recent example of the extended closure of Ranelagh Road is another prime example.
For such a major closure you would have expected plenty of publicity and advance notice. Instead it seems to have slipped out almost by accident a few weeks in advance.
First we were told the works would take six weeks, then seven and then, when the electronic signs went up, a full ten weeks.
Works are scheduled to take place from 6am to 6pm. I have asked why there couldn’t be round-the-clock working to halve the road closure time and been given various excuses: there are residential properties nearby; “health and safety” wouldn’t permit it.
These excuses were somewhat undermined when, within the same week, the County announced that there would be 24-hour working on Queen Street - a road where there are residential properties.
Even working until 9pm would have cut the closure time significantly. As it is, photos sent to me by visitors to the train station show that the site is hardly a hive of activity, even at the times work is supposed to be happening.
It has also emerged that Ranelagh Road will be completely closed again later this year because of works by Anglian Water. I have asked why the works couldn't be done at the same time and have been told that it’s because Anglian Water can’t bring theirs forward. This leaves the obvious question of why Suffolk County Council couldn’t have delayed theirs…