The Upper Orwell Crossings (formerly the Wet Dock Crossing) have been proposed for a long time. Now it has received funding and central government approval without any consultation with you!
Originally, the Wet Dock Crossing was intended to be financed through Ipswich Waterfront developments. On this failure, Ben Gummer and Co, renamed the project to Upper Orwell Crossings and seeked Central Government support as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) to support the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) in reducing 10% of A14 traffic by putting it through Ipswich.
A Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) means it bypasses normal planning procedure where you can't object and the local authority can buy up land (Compulsory Purchase Order) to support the development.
The claimed benefits of £6.5 billion to the local economy is greatly over-exaggerated. Don't you find it funny how the other 2 insignificant bridges are also part of the NSIP when it isn't even vital locally as a road already exists to the island?
REASONS FOR THE DECISION TO ISSUE THE DIRECTION
The Secretary of State is of the opinion that the Upper Orwell Crossings is of national significance for the following reasons:
- There is no other project in the Roads Investment Strategy which could provide an improvement to the A14 at Orwell Bridge, a nationally recognised congestion pinch point. This project would alleviate congestion on the A14 at Orwell Bridge by removing 10% of all traffic from this pinch point.
- The A14 is a 'core tier' route as part of the TEN-T network, linkiing the north of Europe to the south and is a key strategic route to the Port of Felixstowe. The project would directly improve traffic flows for strategic traffic including freight traffic travelling to Europe through the port of Felixstowe, the largest container port in the UK and an international gateway. There are no appropriate alternative routes to the Port.
- it would act as a tactical diversion route for the strategic road network, (the A14) when the Orwell Bridge, a nationally recognised pinch point, is not open to road traffic thereby reducing delays and congestion on the SRN; and
- In addition, the scheme:- Supports the Port of Felixstowe's role as an International Gateway
I also recommend that the two other bridges which are directly linked and complementary to the prinicpal development should be considered as associated development and therefore be part of the Nationally Significant Infrestructure Project.
The above direction predates the first Public Consultation - your first opportunity to comment on plans. Nearby schools such as Cliff Lane which will be affected by increase car traffic as part of this bridge scheme said "we do not hold any information
with respect to any of the parties you refer to [Ben Gummer MP, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council] consulting directly with the school regarding the impact the proposals might have on air quality for children and safety or having visited, consulted or corresponded with the school regarding the Upper Orwell Crossing development".
Suffolk County Council is currently running a consultation with a view to permit parking to the West of the Upper Orwell Crossing and to double yellow line the entire length of Station St and Luther Road.
This bridge will do nothing more than to reduce air quality in an already heavy congested town and reduce road safety for cyclists, children and pedestrians. If you are equally concerned about the impact, please write to us at Office 20, Epsilon House, West Road, Ipswich, IP3 9FJ. We would love to hear from you or your organisation!