Ipswich is in a very unique situation, a large town, pushing 200,000 residents in the surrounding area, yet, the town centre is ripe for redevelopment, from Handford Road/London Road in the West, all the way to the Tolly Cobbold brewery in the East.
The Upper Orwell Crossings main purpose is to regenerate the waterfront. Why? The waterfront is such a small area in the scope of land available. If a vanity project for £100 million was devised, why not a tram line (red line) running alongside the Gipping River. This project, The New Ipswich Proposal, seeks to explore what a fully developed Ipswich could look like… Artistic licence and centuries of investment applies.
This is the plan I have devised.
- Green – Bus route in the town centre diverted from Upper Brook Street to Upper Orwell Street and divert from Museum Street to Civic Drive, with Upper Brook Street being pedestrianised. This would allow greater mobility thus greater regeneration opportunities to Upper Orwell Street and Civic Drive.
- Light Green – Ipswich Buses current routes.
- White – Car restrictions, within the white outline, only residential traffic, and access to car-parks. No on street car parking and restrictions on delivery times. Car parks to be built in strategic locations as well as an effective Park and Ride service.
- Blue – Sites, ripe for redevelopment (see image for specifics).
- Red – Tramlines. Two lines Handford Road – Toller Road. Stoke Bridge to Sailkmakers.
Note how all redevelopment sites are aided by transport, all be it bus, car, or light rail. Many towns in the UK with light rail have sometimes been criticised , which yet true, there is one thing they have all bought, that is investment. Something Ipswich desperately needs. See how the line would reach areas plagued by access problems and low investment. Neither line would need to go on the road, another common complaint. Ipswich has the chance to grow its central core by atleast 25,000 residents, 1000’s of new jobs, leisure as well as expand the University into an institution to be proud of.
The historic centre should embrace its history, culture and independent retailers. While the areas along the river should embrace the development of a city district.
Perhaps one day, the town… city will have a booming central core, with nightlife and a dense skyline reflecting the ambition of the …
council… people of Ipswich.