Island chicane in Maryon Road, Ipswich, to be removed after years of residents' frustration
A traffic-calming trouble spot in Ipswich that has been frustrating motorists and locals alike is finally set to be removed.
The island chicane in Maryon Road installed in 2006 has generated ire from motorists because it regularly causes traffic to become backed up - particularly at peak times - as it restricts movements to one direction at a time.
It prompted locals to begin a petition for its removal, with efforts ramped up when the nearby Gainsborough Sports Centre was nominated as a Covid-19 mass vaccination centre.
On Wednesday, Gainsborough county councillor Liz Harsant, elected in May 2019, confirmed around £5,000 of her highways locality budget will be used to remove the blight.
Councillor Harsant, Conservative, said: "It is clear that this chicane has been a thorn in residents' side for some time but no action had been taken.
"Since we were elected in May of this year both Cllr Shayne Pooley and I have worked hard to achieve quick and decisive action to see this removed. We are grateful for the help of our local Member of Parliament, Tom Hunt, who wrote to residents to seek their further insights and gauge a majority opinion.
"After this consultation and action within the county council I am pleased that work is set to begin so soon. It is a great shame that my Labour predecessor didn’t deal with this key traffic issue during the eight years she was the county councillor for Gainsborough, but I am pleased to have been able to put an end to this chicane issue.
"I will continue to liaise with residents to make sure it's to the standard they expect."
The work is scheduled to start in the autrumn to tie-in with road surfacing activity, and be completed by the end of October.
Damaged kerb replacement, selected driveway access widening and grass verge re-seeding are also planned.
It is understood that to prevent speeding in future, 'speed tables' will be put in - traffic humps which elevate the whole wheelbase of the vehicle
Conservative MP Mr Hunt added: "I am pleased to see that action is being quickly taken to remove the Maryon Road chicane that has caused so many issues for residents of the street.
"Through the locality budget of county councillor Liz Harsant and pressure on the county highways team from myself I am pleased to see that this issue is being resolved so quickly."
Ipswich Borough Council's Labour ward councillors have lobbied the county council for improvement for a number of years.
Cllr Martin Cook said it was "a little bit ironic" that Cllr Harsant had secured the chicane's removal when she had been leading the borough council at the time it was put in.
"It was actually introduced in 2006 and at that time Ipswich Borough Council had highways powers, the borough council was Tory-controlled and Liz Harsant was the leader," he said.
"From the Labour side we have been working for years to try and get rid of the thing - we had a go in 2017, another go in 2019 - which is when Kim [Clements former Labour county councillor for Gainsborough] asked for an estimate for taking it out and didn't get it."
He added: "I am delighted the thing is going now - that's the main thing."