55 projects identified in major plans to transform transport

National Highways has outlined proposals to upgrade the Copdock Interchange, in the outskirts of Ips

Work to improve the Copdock interchange is on the list of priorities - Credit: Phil Morley

Public consultation on transport priorities for Suffolk for the next 30 years will take place this month - with a full plan published next spring.

The plan is set to feature 55 projects, identifying improvements needed to roads, rail lines, ports and airports across the region.

This will include projects already under construction like the Lowestoft Gull Wing bridge, schemes being developed such as the A14 Copdock developments and Great Eastern Main Line upgrades, and new ideas yet to be assessed fully.

The Transport East regional transport strategy - which covers Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Southend and Thurrock - will look as far as 2050.

Public consultation begins on Thursday, December 2, and will run for eight weeks, centred around four priority areas – achieving net zero carbon, connecting towns and cities, energising rural and coastal communities and unlocking international gateways.

Visualisations of the Lake Lothing Third Crossing. PHOTO: Suffolk County Council

Visualisations of the Lake Lothing Third Crossing. PHOTO: Suffolk County Council - Credit: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Esme Yuill, communications lead for Transport East, told Suffolk public sector leaders: “This is setting the direction for the region’s transport for the next 30 years, and it is really important that we understand the challenges, the issues and the views of our communities as we refine this approach.

“It is also  a first step change in the way we have thought about transport regionally in the past, and setting out clearly some of the challenges and new opportunities that exist for the region in upgrading and improving transport networks to really improve the quality of life and opportunities for people across Suffolk and the rest of the eastern region.”

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She added that it will “set out clear delivery priorities with a single voice for the region, so that government has confidence in the priorities we are presenting to them and can prioritise the investment across our region”.

Work on the strategy began around 12 months ago and has identified six key transport corridors:

  • Great Yarmouth – Norwich – King’s Lynn – Midlands
  • Suffolk coast and Norwich – Ipswich – Colchester – Chelmsford – London
  • Norfolk and Suffolk – Cambridge – Midlands – South West
  • Harwich and Clacton – Colchester – Braintree – Stansted
  • King’s Lynn – Cambridge – Harlow – London
  • South Essex – London – Thurrock – Basildon – Southend

Among ambitions for the improvements will be reducing carbon-intensive trips, encouraging the switch from cars to public transport, promoting more sustainable fuels,  and creating faster and more reliable transport connections.

Others include ambitions for better connections for coastal towns – including cycling and walking routes, shifting freight transport to rail and short sea trips, 100% electrification of rail routes to and from ports, and better transport to and from airports.

The eight-week consultation begins on Thursday, December 2 and available online at www.transporteast.org.uk.