Agenda item

Upper Orwell Crossing Project Update

Minutes:

72.1.    The Chair introduced Ms Suzanne Buck, Project Manager for the Upper Orwell Crossings, who gave a presentation with the following key points:

·           Benefits of the project included a reduction in journey times through the town centre, improved connectivity, reduction in congestion, new sustainable routes for cyclists and pedestrians and savings relating to shortened journey times in peak hours.

·           Ground investigation works in the river were almost complete and had confirmed the location of chalk.

·           Only one noise complaint had been received; the noise monitoring data would be taken forward for the construction period.

·           Details of the alignment had been announced: the main crossing would connect to the highway at the Rapier Street roundabout on Wherstead Road on the west side of the river and to a new junction on Holywells Road, north of Cliff Lane, on the east side of the river.

·           A public information event had been held at DanceEast on 6 March 2018 with over 400 people attending throughout the day.

·           Engagement would take place with interested parties [e.g. Friends of Holywells Park, Ipswich Society, Engineering Society, Chamber of Commerce] and further informal public information events would take place leading up to the formal consultation period.

·           The design visualisation would be announced in Spring 2018 and the formal consultation would commence in Autumn 2018; if consent was granted, construction would commence in 2020.

·           Further project information could be found on the following website: www.suffolk.gov.uk/upperorwellcrossings, along with contact information.

72.2.    Councillor Reynolds: Will the main crossing be easy for pedestrians and cyclists to use?
The gradient of the main crossing was towards the upper limit in design terms in order to permit most boat users to be able to pass under it and therefore limit the number of times that the bridge would need to be opened.  Cyclists would also be able to cross the river via the other two proposed crossings.

72.3.    Local resident: Thank you for providing regular updates on this project.  Would there be an information stand at the Suffolk Show?
Details of any future events would be announced using existing communication channels.

72.4.    Councillor Riley: There could be a potential for traffic to queue leading up to the bridge, especially around the roundabout on Wherstead Road; has the issue of air pollution been considered?
Additional air monitoring points would be considered; noise and air quality monitoring would need to be considered as part of the planning process.  An increase in traffic alone would not necessarily give rise to an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) as other environmental factors would need to be involved, e.g. corridor effect of neighbouring buildings.
When would the air quality monitoring impact be considered?
This would be part of the transport modelling, looking at the impact on junctions.  Some information should be available prior to the formal consultation.

72.5.    Councillor Cook: A number of businesses will be affected by the proposed alignment and would need to relocate; has this information be passed to the Council’s Economic Development Team?
The Project has been in contact with the Economic Development Team since 2016 and suitable alternative locations would be sought for the affected businesses.

72.6.    Councillor Jones:  Now that the landing points are known, what routes will the bridge traffic use?
There would be an increase in traffic along Wherstead Road, Landseer Road and Cliff Lane.
It would be helpful to see a map of the routes beyond these roads as they lead into other residential areas.
The transport model had been updated since the business case was issued and now reflected the effects of the alignment on junctions.  The associated routes leading up to the crossings would be run through the model and information would be available by the start of the formal consultation.