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Newsletter, April 2003 (Issue 151)

Congestion Charges?

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Ipswich Borough Council has a splendid scheme in place that mitigates the need for central area congestion charging. The bus gyratory system effectively prevents other vehicles (that don't need to be there) from entering the town centre. Between Museum Street and Upper Brook Street, between Doo's Head Street and Crown Street, pedestrians in the town centre enjoy priority. There are exceptions. Deliveries can only be made to premises in Tavern Street and Westgate Street from the front of the shops and here vehicles are allowed early in the morning and in the late afternoon.

For some perverse reason security vans are allowed into Tavern Street at any time of day, and all and sundry can drive along the northern part of Princes Street and return via Queen Street thus getting unnecessarily close to the Cornhill and invading what should really be the pedestrian space of Giles Circus.

By comparison with other East Anglian towns, Ipswich does not suffer major congestion problems but like all busy places the radial routes into town are busy in the rush hour. Differences are noticeable during school holidays - an indicator that minor changes to commuting habits could make a significant difference to Ipswich's congestion.

JOHN NORMAN, Vice-Chairman

11-15 Bedford Street

These three houses on the south side of the street (between Berners Street and St George's Street) are in a poor state - one uninhabited, another bedsits and the third lived in by a lady for most of her long life. All three have been inspected and found to be "unfit for human habitation" in accordance with the Housing Act 1985. The Council therefore has a statutory duty to take action.

Part of the disrepair is due to some ongoing structural movement, which an independent structural engineer has estimated will cost £150,000 to rectify. Attempts to reach a consensus for Group Repair have not been successful.

The Housing Department has therefore decided that demolition is their only option to allow redevelopment. To this end they have consulted local residents and held a public meeting. Their proposal goes to the Executive Committee of IBC on 8 April 2003. This is a unique situation in England. There are no compulsory demolition orders on housing which could be restored in a Conservation Area.

The Society has been in contact and supported the active local residents' group, attended the public meeting and written letters. The Council say that all negotiations have failed and that the order must go ahead unless a last minute solution is found. We shall press for more time to find a less destructive solution.


    Front cover of issue 151 Cover, issue 151

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