Agenda item

Presentation: SCC Highways - Road Improvement Schemes

Minutes:

38.1.    The Chair introduced Ms Proctor, Senior Engineer, and Mr Ashton, Transport Policy Development Manager, from Suffolk Highways who gave a presentation on proposed road improvement schemes in South East Ipswich with the following key points:

·           Countywide transport model had been built to consider the future growth of traffic and how it would move around South East Ipswich; this model would then be used to model the impact of the proposed schemes.

·           The road improvement schemes were jointly funded, with £3.5million from the New Anglian LEP and £1.5million from Suffolk County Council (SCC), and schemes were due to be delivered in South East Ipswich as part of the first tranche of improvements.

·           Landseer Road/Clapgate Lane: 6-week scheme already underway with street lighting upgrade, replacement of traffic signals that would be triggered by presence of traffic and renewal of footway to Cotman Road.

·           Maryon Road/Nacton Road (by the Golden Hind PH): Street lighting to be upgraded, traffic signals to be updated, carriageway to be widened to two lanes that would merge again just past the Golden Hind PH.  8-week scheme to commence in January 2018.

·           Bixley Road/Foxhall Road: Street lighting to be upgraded, bus stop and pedestrian crossing to be moved in order to create two lanes on the approach to the Heath Road roundabout to increase capacity. Works to commence in January 2018.

·           St Augustine’s roundabout: Carriageway to be widened on the approach to St Augustine’s roundabout from the Warren Heath roundabout.  Street lighting and traffic signals to be upgraded and a new pedestrian crossing to be added. Works to take place in March – August 2018.

·           Nacton Road/Landseer Road/Rands Way roundabout: Public consultation for this scheme was about to commence, with 4,000 letters to be issued to local residents giving details of the consultation events. The proposed scheme would remove the roundabout, close off Rands Way and install traffic signals. This design was in response to high level of maintenance to the kerbs on this roundabout and a number of minor accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians.  The consultation would run from 6 November to 4 December 2017.  Further details could be found on the website: www.suffolk.gov.uk/ipswichimprovements.

38.2.    Local resident: Has a risk assessment been done for the closure of Rands Way as many ambulances go past Rands Way and closing if off would result in a longer response time for ambulances.
All of the emergency services would be consulted on the proposed changes as part of the consultation process.

38.3.    Local resident: I have lived by this junction for 59 years and have seen cars end up in gardens, motorcycle accidents and three different types of roundabout over that time.  Traffic lights would be a good idea, but do not close off Rands Way as this provides an alternative route onto Kings Way/Felixstowe Road if traffic gets backed up.

38.4.    Local resident:  There are often buses parked outside the Tesco on Nacton Road and sometimes a bus parked on the other side of the road; any traffic wanting to turn left out of Landseer Road to get to Queens Way would be backed up to Landseer Road.
In light of the growth in traffic, it won’t be possible to solve all traffic issues, so the focus has been put on improving the traffic flow along the radial routes.

38.5.    Local resident: I have already submitted 12 points in relation to the proposals.  If you close off Rands Way, how can you stop traffic from using Nacton Crescent and going along Gorse Road?
The transport model would be analysed to identify which routes traffic would be diverted to and then consideration would be given to what measures could be used to mitigate this.

38.6.    Councillor Cook: Most of the improvement schemes are good, but I have concerns over the Rands Way proposal as this is part of a major route through the town.  The alternative routes to using Rands Way need to be identified, e.g. Hatfield Road, Alan Road, Clapgate Lane, most of these would be 20% longer.  It is important that the whole network is improved, not just that junction.  Turning right out of Lindbergh Road onto Nacton Road is also a nightmare.

38.7.    Councillor Debman: People have lobbied for a pedestrian crossing for Maryon Road as cars that turn right into this road do not stop for pedestrians trying to cross Maryon Road.  Closing off Rands Way will have an impact on local businesses too.  If traffic lights are installed for the Rands Way junction, would this replace the pedestrian crossing on Nacton Road?
Yes, that pedestrian crossing would be moved to be integrated with the traffic signals for the Rands Way junction.

38.8.    Local resident: There has been a lot of disruption over the years.  Reducing the speed limit seemed unnecessary and blocking off Rands Way seems like a bad idea as this would result in two sets of traffic lights close together.
Nacton Road and Landseer Road have the highest traffic levels in the area, improvements to this junction would maximise the benefit for everyone.

38.9.    Local resident:  The lane restriction on Maryon Road makes it very difficult for traffic turning right into Maryon Road off of Nacton Road during busy periods as traffic cannot pass the queue of traffic waiting to turn out of Maryon Road. Could this lane restriction be replaced with speed bumps instead?
This would be looked at to see if this was possible.

38.10.Councillor Barber: Many of the Rands Way residents are against the proposal to close this road off; what is the benefit to local residents? Consideration needs to be given to the impact on Rands Way and Queens Way and other residents in the area.
Some residents were supportive as traffic was already using Rands Way as a rat run.

The Chair reported that there would be extensive public consultation on the proposals, as per the letter being sent out to local residents.  For further information, call: 0345 603 1842 or email:

ipswich.improvements@suffolk.gov.uk.