Work has finally begun on the long-awaited Ipswich Northern Bypass, according to a council document leaked to the Suffolk Gazette.
Recent closures of the Orwell Bridge have forced local authorities to act now before Suffolk’s county town is gridlocked on a permanent basis.
A joint Suffolk County Council highways and planning document, handed to the Suffolk Gazette at a secret meeting at its Greyhound public house HQ, shows work has already started on the bypass.
Local taxpayers will be pleased that local councillors have thought laterally and found an economic solution enabling work to start immediately.
Compulsory purchase orders will now be issued on April 1 to ensure local home and landowners release sufficient land to permit construction to proceed. A contract was signed this week with Norfolk New Roads Ltd, which offers particularly low labour costs.
The document reveals that to speed up construction of this much-needed A14 relief road section – officially designated as the A14 Relief (Suffolk) Extension, ARSE – councillors have agreed it should be built using the latest technological innovations.
To minimise costs the ARSE will be single lane only with several passing places, and there will be a level crossing where the road crosses the railway at Westerfield.
Unfortunately pressure groups known as Bealings Indignant Group (BIG ARSE), and the Witnesham, Henley Including Tuddenham Environmentalists (WHITE ARSE) are already lobbying councillors and threatening legal action.
By complete coincidence several great crested newts have also been spotted in the area for the first time in centuries.
The route will link the existing Claydon interchange and with the former Martlesham Park and Ride site, where a proposed tollgate will be installed.
Toll charges are expected to be significantly lower than those applying on the M6 toll road, and councillors expect the income raised to quickly permit the construction of a second lane at some point in many years to come.
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