Upper Orwell Crossings plans and updates

Q&As, updates and background information for residents and businesses about the proposals for the Upper Orwell Crossings in Ipswich.

TUOC + Strap

Read about plans and get latest updates below.

Plan of 3 crossings with A B C

Crossing A

  • A new road crossing to the south of the Wet Dock Island, which would connect the east and west banks.
  • This crossing would be for all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.

Crossing B

  • A new road crossing of the New Cut, which would connect the west bank to the Wet Dock Island.
  • This crossing would be for all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.

Crossing C

  • An improved crossing over the Prince Philip Lock, which would connect the east bank to the Wet Dock Island.
  • This crossing would be for cyclists and pedestrians only.

Upper Orwell Crossings costs v benefitsThe benefits

Transport benefits

  1. Overall journey time savings (people spending less time in their car and travelling fewer miles). The crossings could reduce total journey times by approximately 18% during the heaviest morning traffic and 27% during the heaviest afternoon traffic
  2. Reduced travel costs
  3. Improved accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists

Economic benefits

  • More business in the area
  • More jobs for skilled workers in the area
  • Improved business productivity due to reduced journey times
  • The regeneration of the underused land
  • Opportunities for public space improvements

Changing journey times

Watch the video below to find out how the proposed Upper Orwell Crossings project could affect your journey times. 

Download Q&As for the Upper Orwell Crossings (PDF, 272KB)

Email UpperOrwellCrossings@suffolk.gov.uk if you have a question that you'd like answering.

In March 2016, we received a provisional funding agreement of approximately £77 million from the Department for Transport for the Upper Orwell Crossings project. This funding would cover the majority of the construction works required to deliver the crossings. Additional contributions will be required to fund the project.

In June 2016 the Secretary of State gave direction that the project was of national significance and therefore should be dealt with as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. This requires a defined process to be followed. See the National Infrastructure Planning website for details.

We have identified the broad location for the crossings considering the operation of the Port, possible environmental impacts and the new tidal barrier.

The first consultation ended on 12 August 2016. There will be a further consultation in 2018 prior to the application for development consent to the Secretary of State for Transport for the crossings.

Subject to obtaining Development Consent, construction could start in 2020 and would take two to three years.


After a crossing was proposed by the Ipswich Vision Board, Suffolk County Council appointed consultants, Kier and WSP, to identify and assess a number of ways of improving east to west connections across the River Orwell.

Following a thorough assessment process of 18 different ways, the Upper Orwell Crossings was identified as the best solution to progress through planning and detailed design as it would provide the most benefits.

Importantly, the Upper Orwell Crossings would achieve a number of objectives.

Project objectives

  1. Enable the redevelopment of the Wet Dock Island
  2. Ensure the continued success of the Waterfront, Marina and Port
  3. Provide a catalyst to the regeneration of the southern section of town
  4. Relieve congestion in Ipswich and on the A14 (over Orwell Bridge and the nearby junctions)
  5. Improve connectivity and promote the increased use of sustainable transport for journeys between southeast and southwest areas


Any significant infrastructure project has both positive and negative impacts.

We are committed to working closely with residents, businesses and local communities to understand what is important to those who may be affected. We want to maximise positive and minimise negative effects on people and the environment.

The crossings would significantly reduce traffic and journey times across the town. However, based on the work already carried out it is likely there would be an increase in traffic on some local roads including:

  • Landseer Road
  • Cliff Lane
  • Wherstead Road
  • Nacton Road

Minimising the effects of increased traffic on local roads is a key element of the project.

Project documents

During the assessment of options as part of the Outline Business Case the project was referred to as the Ipswich West Dock Crossing.

Suffolk County Council is both the promoter of The Upper Orwell Crossings (“the Promoter”) and is also a relevant Local Authority and statutory consultee to the project (“the Local Authority”).

Governance arrangements have been put into place to ensure that the functions, decision-making and officers of the County Council, acting in these two capacities, are kept separate and distinct, and to ensure the proper management of information held by the County Council.

These arrangements will be reviewed as necessary during the project and will continue until all requirements of any Development Consent Order that may be made by the Secretary of State in respect of the project have been discharged.

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