Labour councillors have welcomed the announcement to drop proposals to install traffic lights at Bishop’s Hill and the Norwich Road/ Valley Road, but have been left asking how much has this cost and why did Suffolk County Council not listen?
Labour County and Borough Councillors undertook their own local consultation during 2013 on the proposals which gave an overwhelming rejection of the plans and demonstrated that there was no support for the proposal. The County Council was then made aware of these views.
Ipswich Labour Borough Councillors had also voiced concerns about the impact of the Bishop’s Hill proposal to Cllr Graham Newman at a Suffolk County Council Councillor briefing meeting on 20 January. Cllrs Ellesmere, Gaylard & Smart all strongly queried the need for this junction to be signalised, but rather than acting at that time these pleas were ignored.
Labour Spokesperson for Roads and Transport Cllr Sandra Gage said; “Whilst we are delighted that these proposals have been dropped, it is another clear example that this council has wasted money designing schemes that nobody wants, and are not needed. Labour councillors have been telling the administration this did not work, but it has taken six months to get through to them.
She added “The question now should be, how much has the design and consultation of this and the Norwich Road junctions cost? The money saved from this abortive work could have been put towards funding the toilets in the Old Cattlemarket bus station, which we all know is publically supported.”
Ipswich Borough Council leader Cllr David Ellesmere also criticised the schemes saying; “Whilst this is good news, I am dismayed that the County Council should have put these schemes forward in the first place. I wonder how much it had cost to come up with the proposals when they weren’t in the original scheme and when anyone who knew anything about Ipswich could have told them they were non-starters”.