The Leader of the Labour Group at Suffolk County Council has greeted the decision to drop the plans to build ‘Ben’s Bridge’ as a ‘victory for common sense’, but described the process as ‘four years of false promises and wasted opportunities.’
Cllr Sarah Adams, Labour Group Leader, believed that, although the council came to the right decision eventually, it underlined their inability to focus on the right infrastructure projects to solve the travel and business requirements of Suffolk’s county town.
She said; “It is welcome that we finally have a resolution to this saga, with the construction of the two smaller bridges continuing the regeneration of Ipswich’s wonderful waterfront.
“However, it is hard to get away from the fact that Suffolk County Council has wasted four years trying to deliver a vanity project on behalf of someone who is no longer in office.
“It was always clear that ‘Ben’s Bridge’ would have solved none of the transport needs for our town and it’s really disappointing that Ipswich’s residents were repeatedly ignored when they were telling the council ‘we don’t want this’.
“Cllr Hicks has had nine months to end this farce, but he has dithered whilst more money was wasted trying to make up an impossible £43m shortfall for this white elephant.
“Instead, time and money should have been spent developing detailed plans for the Northern by-pass, something that would reduce town centre traffic and open up business opportunities for thousands of people.
“It is now imperative that the business case for the Northern by-pass is released immediately – Ipswich cannot afford Tory wavering on this issue any longer.”