Upper Orwell Crossing project “paused” – Sandy Martin MP and Labour councillors welcome County Council review into cost overruns
Suffolk County Council has today announced that the Upper Orwell Crossing project will be “paused temporarily” while a review is undertaken into the likely cost of the project.
An internal review of the project’s cost has revealed that the total amount needed to complete the project could increase significantly from the £97 million forecast. The extra money would have to be paid for by council tax payers.
The large bridge over the Orwell – known as “Ben’s Bridge” – is seen by many as a vanity project pushed by former Tory MP, Ben Gummer.
Labour Councillors and current Ipswich MP, Sandy Martin, support the two smaller bridges which would open up the “island site” for development. However they have long argued that a Northern Bypass would be of much more benefit to Ipswich than “Ben’s Bridge”, without the major problems it would bring for local residents and businesses.
Since details of the proposed route, and the scale of the big bridge have become known, opposition to the project has grown, not least from residents of areas which would see traffic movements increase by over 1,000 vehicles an hour at peak times.