Councillor Martin Cook Gainsborough ward, Ipswich Borough Council
Martin Cook and Sheila Handley, your Labour Councillors, have been campaigning hard for the removal of the nuisance traffic chicane on Maryon Road since 2019. It hasn’t been easy but now we can confirm that campaign is over. The chicane will be removed in a matter of days.
Our recent requests for an update on the chicane were met with silence at Tory-run Suffolk County Council, responsible for highways in Ipswich and across Suffolk.
We wrote to the Tory County Councillor on 11 July calling on the County Council remove the chicane at the same time as the drainage works planned in Maryon Road from 19 August to 6 September. We never received a reply to that letter.
The air of secrecy continued – Suffolk County Council also turned down our request to use Freedom of Information laws to get a progress update. We appealed this decision, and they finally released the documents we asked for earlier this week.
What the documents show:
In the weeks following our 11 July letter and the associated publicity there was a sudden flurry of activity behind the scenes at Suffolk County Council as they investigated the feasibility of removing the chicane in tandem with the drainage works.
This culminated in a proposal being drawn up on 26 July, a meeting on 30 July and agreement of the expected £3,000 to £5,000 costs on 2 August. The plans include:
- Disconnecting the power supply from the illuminated bollard and chicane signage
- Physical removal of the chicane feature and restoration of a straight kerbline
- Removal of road markings
- Temporary removal of the speed hump
- Temporary reinstatement of the road surface once the drainage works complete
Maryon Road is scheduled for a further closure over Autumn Half Term – 25-27 October for resurfacing. Currently the County Council are planning to replace existing speed humps in Maryon Road, including at the chicane location, with “speed tables”. Whilst retaining traffic calming measures in Maryon Road is absolutely essential, we hope they are able to slow traffic without being as aggressive as the notorious speed tables in Rands Way.
Sometimes we can get things done quickly, but other campaigns, such as this one, require enormous patience to progress to a successful conclusion. Our efforts to engage constructively with the County Council were largely rebuffed but by repeatedly raising the issue of the chicane, highlighting the problems it causes and refusing to take no for an answer we finally got the result residents have been crying out for. In the end, that’s all that matters.