Ipswich Waterfront to close to motorised traffic during the lock down to help residents get their daily exercise at a safe distance
Suffolk County Council is taking measures to temporarily close off roads in its towns to motorised vehicles to assist local people in exercising safely.
The first road the county council will be closing is along Ipswich Waterfront between Custom House and Coprolite Street. The closure will be in place daily from Wednesday 29 April for a minimum of 21 days. After this time, the closure will be reviewed in line with the country’s COVID-19 response. Signs will be put up advertising the road closure and advising people to keep to a safe distance.
Suffolk County Council is keen to stress this intervention is designed to support safe social distancing and, as per the government’s guidelines, members of the public should not be travelling excessively to access public open spaces.
The highway authority is also looking at other locations and measures it can implement in built up areas in our county towns that will allow more people to carry out their daily exercise and support well being, whilst continuing to follow the latest guidelines from government. This will include widening existing cycle lanes and footpaths, providing temporary footpaths and cycle lanes and changing traffic signal timings to reduce waiting times for pedestrians and cyclists.
Councillor Andrew Reid Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:
“Ipswich Waterfront is already a heavily pedestrian area. This temporary road closure will create a safe open space for over 2,000 local residents who live close by, many of whom live in flats, and do not have access to a garden.
“In this very challenging time we are all facing, practising social distancing is making us aware of the importance of safe public outside spaces.
“I am really pleased Suffolk County Council is able to offer this change so quickly, and I thank officers for all their hard work in making this happen.
“We are also considering other urban locations to see if we can extend our offer to other roads in Suffolk.
“This work, however, is not an opportunity to solve an area’s historic traffic problems. This is our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”