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Work set to start on keeping popular Suffolk waterfront traffic-free

Permanent changes to keep Ipswich Waterfront traffic-free have been agreed - and work is to begin in the next three weeks.

Suffolk County Council closed the portion of Ipswich Waterfront between the Old Custom House and Coprolite Street next to the university to traffic during the first Covid-19 lockdown as part of efforts to enable social distancing for walkers and cyclists.

After positive feedback for the changes, a consultation was launched over the spring proposing to make the changes permanent.

Ipswich Marina and waterfront (49511705)
Ipswich Marina and waterfront (49511705)

The authority has this afternoon confirmed the changes will stay, and work on the improvements will begin on August 9.

Funding will come from the £1.6million the authority has been awarded by the Government to deliver active travel schemes in phase two of its plan.

The road will be available for delivery vehicles at certain times to ensure re-stocking businesses along the road is not a problem.

Letters are set to go out to businesses and residents with full details early next week.

Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for Ipswich and operational highways, Paul West, said: "So many have benefited from the reduction of motorised vehicles on the Ipswich Waterfront – whether that was to exercise more safely or enjoy outdoor dining at the many fantastic food and drink outlets we have on offer there.

“Access for deliveries will continue, and this condition will be maintained throughout phase two.

“I am certain that local residents, businesses and visitors will welcome the more permanent measures we are installing, and I look forward to seeing even more people enjoy the area as the restrictions caused by the pandemic continue to ease.”

Work will involve "re-purposing the existing parking bays, providing a wider area on one side, with planters and parklets being installed on the other".

The move is expected to boost outdoor dining operated by the bars, restaurants and cafes along the Waterfront.

The council said the Waterfront had shown the highest potential for increased walking and cycling during the pandemic, with changes coming as part of the Active Travel Fund schemes to encourage people to adopt those methods of transport.

The authority continues to consult on other potential changes elsewhere in the county. Visit www.suffolk.gov.uk and follow the links to the consultations page to find out more.

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