Willis Building architects chosen for Upper Orwell Crossing

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  • #2968 Score: 0
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    News Robot
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    Foster wins race to build new bridges over River Orwell at Ipswich port

    One of the world’s best-known architect practices has won the race to design three new bridges over the docks in Ipswich.

    Foster + Partners, the group that designed the world-famous Willis building in the heart of the town, will design the bridges that form the Upper Orwell Crossing.

    They will link the east and west banks of the River Orwell, providing a new route for cross-town traffic, and also new access to the port’s island site – opening up to development as a new high-technology hub linked to the University of Suffolk.

    As well as the Willis building and other public buildings around the world, Foster + Partners has also built a number of world-famous bridges.

    They include the Millennium Bridge across the Thames in London which gained a reputation as the “Wobbly Bridge” when it first opened but has since become a hugely popular pedestrian link between St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern on the South Bank.

    The partnership won a competition run by Suffolk County Council and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to become architectural lead for the project.

    The Panel, chaired by Sir Michael Hopkins CBE, selected Foster + Partners from a strong shortlist of five internationally renowned teams.

    Foster + Partners impressed the panel by the quality of their overall approach and thinking, including the initial design concepts presented for the project’s three crossings.

    The approaches were considered to have the potential to enhance Ipswich’s thriving waterfront, as well as acting as a catalyst for regeneration of the wider harbour area.

    The initial designs will now be developed and land will need to be bought – an exact route for the road over the largest of the bridges over the Orwell has still to be chosen.

    Spencer de Grey, Joint Head of Design at Foster + Partners, started his career with the company working on the plans for the Willis building, so was looking forward to working in the town again.

    But he said the final designs of the bridges could vary from those which won the competition because architects would have to take account of the exact conditions they find when work starts.

    He said: “Ipswich holds a special place in our hearts. The Willis Building was a landmark project for the practice, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the town once more.

    “The design of the bridges focusses on enhancing the experience of crossing the Orwell River, increasing interconnectivity and reducing congestion in the town centre.”

    County council leader Colin Noble said there would be further talks with landowners and the community in general – but the authority was determined to keep up the momentum to ensure the work is completed.

    It hopes to start work on the bridges in 2020 and the project should be completed by 2023.

    Mr Noble said: “The announcement of Foster + Partners being selected as the architectural team behind the Upper Orwell Crossings is a great outcome for Ipswich and Suffolk as a whole.

    “The design element of the project is crucial and with Foster + Partners’ input I believe the final design of the crossings, once completed, will be looked at in the same light as their iconic Willis Building in Ipswich’s town centre.

    “We are excited to be working with such a highly-regarded group for this project that is important for the town as it enables us to reap benefits that will greatly outweigh the cost of the project.”

    Mr Gummer described the announcement as one of the most important moments for Ipswich for many decades: “It is difficult to overstate the importance both of what the bridge will do and also what it represents.

    “The fact that we will have what will be a globally recognised bridge of beauty will say something powerful about our town’s ambition and our place not just in our county, or our region, or our country, but in the world.

    “We were, as a panel, profoundly impressed by the quality of designs brought forward by all of the competition entrants and I would like to thank them for the time and energy and passion that they put into their work.

    “However, we were all agreed that the proposal put forward by Foster + Partners was exceptional. They are sensational designs – simple, elegant, beautiful and they draw on true understanding of the economic rationale.”

    Foster + Partners projects:

    The list of buildings designed by Foster + Partners reads like a roll call of some of the world’s greatest new landmarks of the last 50 years.

    And it was the Willis building in Ipswich that really put the company on the world map – opened in 1975 it still looks modern and futuristic today.

    The company designed buildings including the Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia, the American War Museum at Duxford, and the Stansted Airport terminal in this region.

    And it was also behind other airport buildings around the world. It rebuilt the old Reichstag building in Berlin and in London built the new Wembley Stadium and the iconic Gherkin building near Liverpool Street Station.

    It has also built some of the most impressive bridges of the last quarter century – as well as the Millennium Bridge across the Thames it also built the Millau Viaduct in southern France.

    Feel free to comment on IPSWI.

    #2979 Score: 0
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    So, where exactly will the big bridge go then? We know they have no agreed line for this but using the image released today, and 3D google maps this is the line it currently appears to take. It looks to go from the roundabout at Hawes St/Wherstead Road across the river to Holywells Road at the Toller St junction. This route will miss all the new housing off Hawes Street and Wherstead Road to the west, and is North of the Brewery site to the east bank, but as they will need to maintain access to the West Bank terminal that may need a new entrance, also from Holywells Road I assume, that could then impact on the Riverside Clinic and Brewery site.

    This is their image below, loving the way its completely wiped the West Bank Terminal from the map, its all now a lovely green wooded river bank, clearly a far better backdrop for Gummers Folly then what’s really there, unless of course removing a significant part of the working port of Ipswich is part of the master plan.


    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #2983 Score: 0
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    Very interesting. It is all conceptional so the actual implications will need to be scaled down. I get the impression the bridge which takes inspiration from a logo of a nearby business has the same arch as the Orwell Bridge which is a heavily criticised factor of the Orwell Bridge. The other problem is the bridge not being straight across – this adds likelihood for collisions of opposing carriageways and also reduces speed a slight bit.

    This happens to be the path I initially expected but I struggle to think they would actually terminate the bridge directly onto Holywells Road, it would make it difficult for lorries and this is the main purpose of the bridge (taking 10% of the traffic off the A14) therefore I think they will aim to join it with Cliff Lane (even if straight ahead was restricted to lorries). Traffic lights are mandatory.

    Riverside Clinic’s days are numbered, I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t transferred elsewhere such as Two Rivers Medical Centre… Brewery Tap closed so possibly will knock it down as part of the Brewery redevelopment. So many ifs.

    I know nothing of architecture, i.e. its not my job, however, the height they have specified to allow access to marina will need to be lowered… although the arch will be quite something they would want to keep the connecting elements at a reasonable incline.

    The bridge path you specify goes straight through the port and you would need clearance to prevent ships colliding into the bridge. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t want to shrink the port say to roughly where the rail spur comes out. This is bad news for Ipswich. I would rather the old working port than the waterfront in all honesty. Gummer is trying to make Ipswich middle-class. I wouldn’t be surprised if the port was killed off longer term ending a long historical tradition of trading via ships.

    He has his knighthood lined up… and against-all-odds he will get a higher ranking position in government. This was guaranteed for him when his dad entered him for Ipswich. I wouldn’t be too surprised if part of the reason for this was to prevent a Northern Bypass…

    #2990 Score: 0
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    No way on that sort of alignment they will be able to make a fixed bridge tall enough to allow the tall ships in to the wet dock, and that would be a real shame.

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #2992 Score: 0
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    That will be a thing of the past. Tall ships and navy boats will no longer come here.

    We have quite a long tradition of such events including the Ipswich Maritime Festival which didn’t go ahead last year but is due back this year in August 19th and 20th. Seems like the borough who is on the bandwagon to shout about the waterfront and our heritage… is running it in alternate years with a new “Ipswich Waterfront Celebration”

    Why can’t they have both events in a single year? If the Ipswich Waterfront is the new gem… why is it too much hassle to organise both events for the same year? They could be organised on following weekend to see how many tourists and visitors could be attracted into staying throughout the week in between. But in all seriousness, the Ipswich Waterfront Celebration should be held in July.

    The fresh event is free to attend and will include chef demonstrations, live music, fun fair rides, street entertainment, a mobile farm, circus skills workshops and three markets – all ending with a finale fireworks display.

    Not being funny but this sort of thing should happen in the town centre, both Cornhill supported by Christchurch Park.

    This really annoys me… they have no idea! Ipswich Entertains got launched last May. Of some irony – apologies for going off the topic to extremes – the council hasn’t responded to the proposal of getting local businesses involved for a better festive market for 2017. There is still time but going from industry standard planning timescales, most festive events are planned in the summer.

    It is the small-town attitude that the borough maintains which holds the town back. Unfortunately, despite how most jobs in Ipswich are in the “tourism sector” apparently (i.e. hotels for flings, pubs and restaurants to eat etc.) there is no hunger to punch-above. Events are provided for the teen to middle-aged residents of the borough to tick the box that there is something to do. Why don’t they do more sponsoring? Of course, they want to be prime spot with the coat of arms everywhere… why not both?

    I get a feeling the maritime festival will be killed off, they will run it into the ground so they can quote low visitor numbers. This could be for example, due to a new bridge restricting access.

    It is interesting as the bridge spec was for it to be able to open – let smaller boats/yachts through 24/7 and raise the bridge to allow larger ships through – which I thought would be far too expensive. What we have here is a bridge – literally a modern twist on the Orwell Bridge – which will limit passage of ships… the air gap of the Orwell Bridge can cause problems for some ships… although I think the height they portray will need to be considerably lowered which will cause its own problems, even at that height it causes some significant restrictions. The main body of a ship isn’t the problems – the sails or funnels are. The change in tide varies the available clearance.

    #3030 Score: 0
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    Big criticism on Ipswich Star (surprised some of the comments have been allowed – copied and pasted here just in case they disappear)

    I’m sure Ben’s Dad is as proud as the people of Otley are grateful. Personally, and I’ll say it again, I think this is a massive white elephant. And quite an expensive one at that! paul e.

    Ben does looked chuffed he finally got his vanity project and probably a knighthood at the same time , must look after daddy’s pals ! The land is not bought yet that’s millions more than originally planned , cannot wait to see the real final bill . Macke

    No chance Simon k , Gummer just stated on the news we will look at a northern route after this is completed . Sad day for Ipswich as the gridlock will continue , good day for the Gummers . Macke

    This isn’t a game changer. The Willis Building which opened in 1975 was set to see Ipswich grow into a national hub for insurance companies. Didn’t happen. 40+ years later they are trying again with the concept of an office corridor… of solicitors and accountants, a year later after the first building opened it still doesn’t have a single tenant. It is 2 minutes walk from the railway station, 1 minute from cardinal park, 1 minute from the football stadium, 30 seconds from Royal Mail sorting office, 5 minutes walk from the town centre and 2 minutes walk from council offices. Does this not tell you anything? Even with a brand new landmark bridge looking good in photos… where is the money coming from for Enterprise Island? Going by the cost of the university buildings we are looking around £200m. Would be a nice shopping centre in the town! With enough left over to redo the entire town centre paving east to west. NorthernBypass

    This is a simple bait-and-switch technique used by cheap illusionists. Let’s have a little list of things we’re waiting for and see if they are also delivered before 2023:

    Travel Ipswich: not completed;
    The Winerack: not completed (reported in this paper as work due to start to complete it in January 2017… I must be blind to the hive of activity along there);
    The Cornhill: not started;
    Ipswich station: still not completed;
    the ‘hour to London’ train service: not delivered;
    the Crown St carpark: not started;
    the old B&Q site: vacant;
    the even older B&Q site: vacant;
    the thriving waterfront: picture of an octopus and a Pizza Express;
    Cattle Market bus station: no toilets;
    Sailmakers: half empty;
    ‘turn the town around so it runs north-to-south’: quietly forgotten about;
    the old Co-Op building: no other ideas than “make it a school”.

    No vision for this town, no quality leadership, no ideas, just cheap headlines and general back-patting for the same old greysuits who should have been shown the door years ago. Ipswich is run by quangos and pensioners who sit in their offices waiting for retirement and a handsome payout from their golf-club buddies who get given the choicest contracts. They are there only to enrich themselves and have no intention of improving the town. The sooner people realise this and boot them out at the next chance, the better. Let’s face it, the only thing Ben Gummer wants is to be re-elected, so of course he’ll show us all the pretty computer renders. I am looking forward to Ipswich being known as “the town with the bridges”. London, Amsterdam, New York… we’re coming for you. OldBoy

    I totally agree with Oldboy. Gummer has done nothing for the town… and this is pure fantasy. If one project could be completed successfully; and to a good standard, there’d be far more public support. The one point that really troubles me is how Gummer snr and junior stand to pocket huge sums of cash with the wet dock crossing. They’re big share holders, and the tax payer will have to pay rent to use their land. It’s all corruption and dishonest. And as alluded all about lining the top tiers pockets. Johnie Redwood

    Gummer….just like his dad…useless. waspie

    Am I completely missing the point ?, how are these 3 bridges over troubled waters going to alleviate the problem we have of Traffic Congestion in the Town when we all know that the real solution has got to be A Northern Ring Road !, for all the traffic heading up the coast to the Suffolk & Norfolk Resorts as well as all the Container Traffic which need not then have to go over the Orwell Bridge !.. freedomf

    Your missing the point IpsBrist… we have waited decades for an alternative to the orwelll bridge and what do we get ANOTHER bridge ! In the wrong place too fact ! I have absolutely no problems with the island site put that to one side for now ….. but now let’s look at the new upper Orwell crossing .You heard the facts on tv 60,000 vehicles a day use the Orwell bridge and Gummer states that this new crossing will relieve 30% of that traffic and town traffic , wildly inaccurate and that also means a huge increase in pollution and noise to the docks ..utter madness . Let’s take landseer road to the nacton road and that farty little roundabout that joins the two , how on earth will that road cope when this is built ? The road infrastructure isn’t there to take this extra bridge just think about it , even SCC have stated there is no final route for it yet !….. I repeat I have no problem with the island site and walkways very good idea as long as ABP chip in , but the new road bridge is unnecessary, totally useless as it brings thousands of extra vehicles a day into the docks, dumb idea !…… We should have all been celebrating a northern bypass and now we understand it won’t happen in the next twenty years fact ! The northern area of Ipswich will suffer as by then ten thousand homes will have been built , sad to see this once great town go down hill as it will end up like Cambridge stuck in gridlock . deeber

    Thanks Deeber- I know we agree on many things but not this one! At least we have some common ground in the walking routes. Although I would refute that I miss the point on this- the WDC’s deal with a different set of issues to what the NBP would achieve. Although I do stress that I think we do need a NPB in addition to this new crossing. The trouble is, and remains so, where is the campaign group for the NBP? This isn’t just going to happen on its own. We need an effective campaign for it as you can guarantee that the against group will be waiting, well organised, with a loud voice to protest against it. As much as many people call for it on here and other social media, I am not seeing any movement towards real action. So how much do people really want it, or is it just something to have a little moan about it? Orwellahead have this as a key a question upon joining- so at least some of us are trying to gauge the people who want to get involved. We need a leader to head the campaign- ideally a seasoned business leader who has a real vested interest in securing the NBP, able to collate a nimble but effective team to campaign for it. Do you know anyone? If you do contact us through Orwellahead and we’ll be happy to try and get something moving on it- but we need people to take the first move IpswichBristol

    Yep we disagree on the new Orwell bridge ! …. regarding the Northern bypass no chance , I have been in politics for a very long time and the Gummers hold the key to that door . The next round of money allocated for the east to ease congestion is £2.8 million that would not even pay for Ben Gummers pals WSP to have another survey! Sorry Ips Bristol we have been stitched up good and proper and a bypass is decades away . Campaign groups are totally useless against the political might and the not interested in Ipswich SCC , notice how quiet the Ipswich star has become on the call for a new bypass ? What is needed is the next person to challenge Gummer and State they want a bypass , Ellsmere is far too weak and has his own vanity projects to worry about . deeber

    No idea why this is referred to as a “race”; that implies the FIRST one to hand in their project won! Also, it is VERY disturbing to read all the comments about the personal benefits to the Gummers and friends from these project when Ben Gummer is deeply involved in it. If the local papers are worth more than ‘fish n’ chip paper’ then they should have an open discussion with Ben Gummer about personal gain from any planning decisions in Ipswich, especially any projects he is involved in, and then PUBLISH the results. Or are the local press in the Gummers’ pockets? The Gummers should welcome this with open arms as it allows them to put the rumours ‘to bed’ once and for all. We do not want this to be like SCDC Planning Committee where two members declared an interest in knowing an applicant but stayed in the meeting and voted for him! (Note to moderator: Before rejecting this as libel, look at the internet. Johnthebap

    I hate to think what the bill is just to produce these designs. I can’t help thinking they look to 21st century for a town stuck in a 20th century time warp. Chris D

    Be nice to see the other designs as we paid for them but as mentioned the other day the designer was probably chosen before the others had a chance . Macke

    #3034 Score: 1
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    Comments from Ben Gummer’s Facebook page, not exactly overwhelming support is it, in fact more want the NBP than the bridges…



    Its not easy to edit out the rubbish but I’m sure you will get the gist..

    From here,  https://www.facebook.com/ben4ipswich/

    Martin C great, can you please get on with pushing for the Northern Bypass now, its even more important for Ipswich.. no more delays, when is the full route study going to be published?

    Like · Reply · 9 · 10 March at 17:03

    Paul Mooney

    Paul Mooney I know where you don’t live

    Like · Reply · 20 hrs

    Martin C


    Write a reply…


    Darrell Smith

    Darrell Smith Let’s get them built.

    Like · Reply · 10 March at 17:15

    Tommy Gately-Thorpe

    Tommy Gately-Thorpe Yes just agree get it sorted out

    Like · Reply · 10 March at 17:32

    Iain Cunningham

    Iain Cunningham You’d recognise how important they were if you truly understood your constituency ! #vanity #moneyspentbetterelsewhere #localissues

    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 March at 22:11 · Edited

    Nick Timms

    Nick Timms Excellent, now let’s get on with it

    Like · Reply · 10 March at 18:18

    Clive Underdown

    Clive Underdown Well done an agreed design

    Hope we can move the Northern Bypass as quickly

    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 March at 18:22

    Mark Taylor

    Mark Taylor I don’t know why so many people still go on about a northern bypass. It never gonna happen. Even if they said yes to it right now, the first shovel wouldn’t go into the ground until 2025 at the earliest. It would be great but it’ll never happen

    Like · Reply · 10 March at 18:30

    Martin C

    Martin C Yes you may be right with your timescale which is why it needs to be planned for now,

    Like · Reply · 2 · 10 March at 19:37

    Martin C


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    Chloe Ryan

    Chloe Ryan Exciting to have such a brilliant design coming to Ipswich. I love the Willis building.

    Like · Reply · 3 · 10 March at 18:38

    Ian Prosser

    Ian Prosser Is there a link to a map showing where the bridges are going?

    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 March at 18:58

    Martin C

    Martin C No there isn’t, it apears to be a secret!

    Like · Reply · 10 March at 19:36

    Ian Prosser

    Ian Prosser Cheer Martin maybe they need to tell the people who’s homes and businesses it’s going through first.

    Like · Reply · 3 · 10 March at 19:44

    Martin C


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    Val Dufour

    Val Dufour It looks a good project that will ease congestion in town centre but has any thought been given to the impact this will have on traffic levels and air quality along Landseer, Nacton & Felixstowe Roads, very residential areas?

    Like · Reply · 3 · 10 March at 19:04

    Vicky Ford

    Vicky Ford This is such such such good news. Well done to all involved.

    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 March at 19:08

    Martin Taylor

    Martin Taylor Also build a river bridge between Ancaster Road and West End Road too. Simple to build as nothing in the way, short bridge so low cost over non-navigable river section. This would permanently relieve the chaos and congestion around Ipswich Station, Ipswich Village and the Town Centre.

    Like · Reply · 3 · 10 March at 19:14

    Howard Kell

    Howard Kell What’s happening about cleaning up the current crime stats? Norwich road and the surrounding area is a dangerous place. Rather than designer architecture I would prefer safer streets. Ps I talk from experience. Was mugged outside my local corner shop two months ago.

    Like · Reply · 8 · 10 March at 19:33

    Simon Oram

    Simon Oram Norwich Road is a safe place, I live on it and have done for 25 years, what a bunch of nonsense. At any given moment at any place an incident could happen in this town but, some like to throw sweeping comments about things they hear. There are many pa…See more

    Like · Reply · 3 hrs · Edited

    Martin C


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    George Casselton

    George Casselton Johnjoe Miller good video

    Like · Reply · 10 March at 20:11

    Sue Lisette

    Sue Lisette Not much help to East Ipswich, we can’t move for traffic. Northern by pass would be better, then build these bridges

    Like · Reply · 4 · 10 March at 20:24

    Richard Butler

    Richard Butler A14 Needs to be M14

    Like · Reply · 2 · 10 March at 20:45

    Claire Rush

    Claire Rush Beth Andrews

    Like · Reply · 10 March at 20:48

    Beth Andrews

    Beth Andrews I’m FAAAAAAAMOUUUS!!

    Like · Reply · 2 · 10 March at 20:55

    Martin C


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    Melvyn Bolt

    Melvyn Bolt It will never happen

    Like · Reply · 10 March at 22:13

    Colin Campbell

    Colin Campbell it seems he’s an attention seeker going public with these ideas.perhaps with the experience of the orwell bridge being closed on several occasions due to high winds and gridlocking Ipswich perhaps money better spent on a tunnel to replace an aging bridge.

    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 March at 22:25

    Andrew Hyland

    Andrew Hyland No matter where these bridges are placed, an alternative trunk road needs to be built round the north eastern side of Ipswich. If the Orwell bridge is closed due to issues, then the town will still grind to a halt. An alternative trunk road is the answ…See more

    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 March at 22:31

    Shaun Whymark

    Shaun Whymark Hand on heart we all know that none of this will ever happen. Gummer will only be interested whilst the media are. As soon as they move onto another pie in the sky project, he will too.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 10 March at 22:42

    Lorenzo Chevannes

    Lorenzo Chevannes This will be done, Northern bypass, now that’s a different kettle of fish….

    Like · Reply · 18 hrs

    Shaun Whymark

    Shaun Whymark We’ll see

    Like · Reply · 16 hrs

    Martin C


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    Luke Alexander

    Luke Alexander Another useless puppet

    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 March at 22:43

    Paul Seward

    Paul Seward Northern bypass far more important !!!! Priorities ???

    Like · Reply · 3 · 10 March at 23:35

    Guy Daniel

    Guy Daniel Alan Backhouse Graham Stiff Ross Cracknell you all excited at the prospect of Sir Norman Foster and his mates coming back to town?

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 07:05

    Ross Cracknell

    Ross Cracknell 😂my hero !

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 07:40

    Martin C


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    James Pugh

    James Pugh Greg Abbott

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 07:13

    Mark Exton

    Mark Exton Who will the primary users be of this bridge ?

    Like · Reply · 2 · Yesterday at 07:55

    Neil Emms

    Neil Emms A very good question. It’s location seems far from vital to solve any problems to me. It’s great that there is investment in the town, but seeing how the transport funds were utterly wasted I won’t hold my breath for this to have been any better thought out.

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 10:24 · Edited

    Martin C


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    Paul Jay

    Paul Jay Built with British steel, European or Chinese?!

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 08:13

    Gary Kingston

    Gary Kingston All very nice, but what about the big bridge, and what about when something goes wrong with it.

    Build a northern bypass, stop the paralysis of Ipswich every time the wind blows over 40 mph.

    Like · Reply · 2 · Yesterday at 08:14

    Thomas Spurling

    Thomas Spurling Stop all the paper shuffling and money being past on to m8 and backhands and get on with it

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 08:19

    John Stacey

    John Stacey Build a tunnel! No problems with wind 🍃

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 08:42

    John Ng

    John Ng Wind tunnel 😛

    Actually forget about this crossing malarkey and build Snowasis! 🙂

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 09:02

    Martin C


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    Phil Jude

    Phil Jude Jessica HW

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 08:52

    Jo Brown

    Jo Brown He only wants this to bring more commercial properties to this area. Then he will gridlock the whole of Ipswich.

    He’s not looking at the bigger picture, without a better infrastructure Ipswich cannot deal with any more houses or businesses.

    They will never build a northern bypass, the town will just be blocked, then everyone will go elsewhere to shop.

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 09:07

    Thomas Spurling

    Thomas Spurling Don’t they now anyway

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 09:09

    Martin C


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    Greg Abbott

    Greg Abbott Who comes to Ipswich?.

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 09:27

    Paul Neal

    Paul Neal Needs to be a bypass road from claydon to martlesham

    Like · Reply · 3 · Yesterday at 09:36

    Neil Emms

    Neil Emms They’ve been trying to find a route for that for about 30 years and have failed. I agree that it’s becoming vital though.

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 10:22 · Edited

    Martin C


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    Sue Stokes

    Sue Stokes Andy Warner Lacey

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 09:48

    Neil Emms

    Neil Emms Why not raise the sides of the current bridge so traffic can keep going on windy days, rather than close it several times a year bringing the town to its knees?

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 10:21

    Emma-Kate Thompson

    Emma-Kate Thompson Fantastic achievement, just shows what can be achieved when everyone works together. Thank you for championing this.

    Like · Reply · 2 · Yesterday at 10:38

    Samuel Aherne

    Samuel Aherne Rachiee Evelyn-Blackwood Megan Webber Emily Smith

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 10:59

    Alex Sudds

    Alex Sudds Squad Marcus Roth

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 12:25

    Samuel Aherne

    Samuel Aherne When you use Suffolk Pink in your logo…. Marcus Roth

    Like · Reply · 2 · Yesterday at 12:27

    Martin C


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    Jamie Clarkson

    Jamie Clarkson If they build it then to hell with all the arty fatty stuff, all the play on words about Ipswich being put on the map, it’s all hype! It just needs to be functional and economically sound. Not the cheapest, it needs to work, but also not a massive overspend. Personally I think we need a northern bypass.

    Unlike · Reply · 3 · Yesterday at 11:30

    Martin C

    Martin C Spot on…

    Like · Reply · 4 hrs

    Martin C


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    Jaimie Thompson

    Jaimie Thompson Lee Hodge have your say.

    Like · Reply · 22 hrs

    Lee Hodge

    Lee Hodge Oi Ben Gummer we need have a serious chat about some previous points I have raised in emails to you which have gone unanswered. Please feel free to respond

    Like · Reply · 3 hrs

    Martin C


    Write a reply…


    Ben Wiles

    Ben Wiles Knock it down get a tunnel

    Like · Reply · 21 hrs

    Philip Andrews

    Philip Andrews I agree to the tunnel idea but to keep the bridge, as with a tunnel no diverted traffic would need to go towards the town.

    Like · Reply · 4 hrs

    Martin C


    Write a reply…


    Martin Beaney

    Martin Beaney Make it the shape of a knife or a spliff and get eastern europeans to build it. A true reflection of our broken washed up dirty little town

    Like · Reply · 4 · 19 hrs

    Des Welham

    Des Welham Northern bye pass / ring road. For goodness sake show some common sense

    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs

    Garry Collins

    Garry Collins They never used to shut the bridge to all traffic in high winds! It just a ploy to force the new bridge build through! Bunch of money wasting prats. :-[

    Like · Reply · 2 · 17 hrs

    Bill Ballard

    Bill Ballard if the new bridge is similarly at some height is there not a further risk of closure in gentle breeze? Even moreso for the pedestrian/cycling crossing to run parallel with the road bridge.

    Like · Reply · 15 hrs

    Helen Kim Davey

    Helen Kim Davey Thank you Ben …

    Like · Reply · 14 hrs

    John-Paul Taylor

    John-Paul Taylor Joe Hanley nice!

    Like · Reply · 14 hrs

    Karl Hart

    Karl Hart It will also cause even more traffic on Landseer road and Nacton road. These roads are already blighted by severe traffic holdups.

    Like · Reply · 3 · 13 hrs

    Tom Bullard

    Tom Bullard Graham Bullard your be buzzing with this. You will be able to walk to the Rivers

    Like · Reply · 1 · 13 hrs

    Darren Delbit Thrower

    Darren Delbit Thrower Utter ballshit !

    Like · Reply · 13 hrs

    Aaron Skerritt 父

    Aaron Skerritt 父 Josh Vartan 👌

    Like · Reply · 1 · 13 hrs

    Owen Stephen Roberts

    Owen Stephen Roberts How about fixing the bloody potholes,they are now at an all time high.

    Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs

    Angus Peroni

    Angus Peroni Maybe his status won’t be important for the majority of people here. Some of you will ignore it, most of you won’t bother to read and it’ll go unnoticed along with other status’s, maybe I’ll be criticised for this but I just want to let you all know I’m selling potatoes.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 5 hrs

    Hunke Moller

    Hunke Moller we’ve got loads

    Like · Reply · 4 hrs


    John Burrows

    John Burrows He can get a bridge built but can’t get a road opened at the back of ravenswood to free up traffic on nacton rd(twat who only wants to put his face on things that get done) 🙁

    Like · Reply · 2 · 4 hrs

    George Sadler

    George Sadler I like him 😀

    Like · Reply · 2 hrs

    John Burrows

    John Burrows Really? Lol

    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

    John Burrows

    John Burrows Really

    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

    George Sadler

    George Sadler He did knock on my door canvassing once ( which no other politician has done in the 12 years I’ve lived here) he seemed alright. But at least the bridge might meet in the middle but if labour were in charge you got not chance !😀

    Like · Reply · 2 hrs


    Tom Baker

    Tom Baker Focus on building your bridges while your town and youth fall to crime and you sit there and vote for disabilities to be cut.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hrs

    Tom Baker

    Tom Baker You’re a disgrace to every hard working man woman and child I’ve ever met in Ipswich, now pop back to London with your corporate friends.

    Like · Reply · 43 mins


    Alex Hines

    Alex Hines Nice looking bridges Ben.. how much they going to cost? And there is the small point of pretty much no mental health support, rife drug addiction, a massive lack of access to rehabilitation and people sleeping rough.. (yes Ben just because they are pus…See more

    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

    Justin Shemmings

    Justin Shemmings They should send a questionnaire or survey to every residential address in ipswich to actually get feedback from the people that actually live here. Oh no sorry they won’t do that they’ll just do it anyway.

    Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hrs

    Alex Hines

    Alex Hines Agreed ✅

    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

    Nick Anderson

    Nick Anderson Make it happen Ben a.s.a.p and also Ipswich needs the northern bypass fairly soon as well, cheers Ben

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    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3047 Score: 0
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    Thank you Martin.

    What is also well noted is people mentioning about youth crime and attack on disabilities…

    He is a Conservative with a capital C! The reason for the crime mayhem is MYGO hasn’t worked, youth unemployment hasn’t fallen, just the claimant count has… if these people don’t have money to live on they are going to head to crime and this is always through criminal drug gangs. High penalties for adults so children are chosen to undertake dealing etc. to lower risk.

    It is an ultimate scenario of a new landmark lots of buzz and positive publicity which can go far and he can be remembered for it. Instead the focus on the Ipswich Waterfront and “Wet Dock Crossing” (Ben still uses that term) shields complete lack of progress elsewhere in the town… crime, run down areas… it doesn’t matter what he tries, he cannot mask over the violent crime including murders in the town… unluckily for him, the crime has been so bad it isn’t easy to gloss over, police are struggling and people aren’t buying the vanity project. Just a handful of materialistic people seem to distracted by the rattle of the shiny keys.

    I bet he is hoping people don’t force him out.

    #3054 Score: 0
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    On a side note to me I dont see what makes that bridge any more usable by high sided vehicles  than the Orwell bridge when its windy, which is one of the key reasons for building it, as a relief road for the OB when it has to shut..

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3058 Score: 0
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    It appears to be worse?  Taking the height of the vehicles with a +/- 30% accuracy. This design should eliminate most of my initial concerns with pollution and noise for the Ipswich Waterfront, however, the elevated height would mean sound dispersal over further distances. The pedestrian/cyclist deck seems to undermine the point of the bridge being high in the first place (for yachts and tall ships) as this creates an additional height restriction. It is likely to be smaller scale due to connections to the bridge either side of the river.

    The above artist drawing gives the impression not only does the bridge curve but one carriageway will be higher than the other. This will result in RTCs. A pedestrian bridge and for cyclists is connected… but whats the point of the other two bridges? Why would you need to use this bridge other than walk through the Enterprise Island?  (Photo source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2017/03/10/foster-wins-upper-orwell-crossings-design-race/ )

    I don’t see the third bridge to spec… there is one bridge in foreground and one bridge in background with main traffic bridge and one pedestrian bridge which curves around to the central part. A good idea but not to specification surely? It is clear using the pedestrian part of the main bridg eis needed to fully cross the river. The white building with the zig-zag roof in Helena Road is some three-story high, the main vehicle bridge heading towards Toller Road is at about 3 story high as it touches… Toller Road is short… in order to reach Holy Wells Road it would need to curve round (bridge over Holy Wells Road) into the industrial estate, through the park pond and out near Holywells Close/Myrtle Road.

    I just don’t know why he wants to make the Ipswich Waterfront middle-class wealthy person playground… but the rest of the town (including the town centre) a run down slum/ghetto. It stinks.

    The above picture shows what I mean with the cyclist/pedestrian deck… notice how much lower it is? Even at low tide, no chance of getting a tall ship through. Some yachts will struggle… might explain why the spec called for a raised bridge. Orwell County Park is lovely on a nice summer day, I would prefer that than the Ipswich Waterfront every single time. Fresher air, cleaner water, far away from students and unspoilt.

    #3067 Score: 0
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    While I take nothing away from the architects, chosen to design the bridge/s over the Orwell, I do feel that once again Ipswich have gone the wrong way, — what we need is a dual Northern bypass — the Ipswich star has had the chance many times to grab the headlines on this and lead the way forward, but have failed to do so — instead of being a town paper they are fast becoming a village magazine

    #3068 Score: 0
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    Ipswich Star: Village Magazine!

    A Northern Bypass will develop and support what we have.

    An Upper Orwell Crossing is about creating a vibrant modern middle-class town centre hub; there is no tourist attraction at the Ipswich Waterfront… well there will be right now…. bridge… tick, landmark… tick.

    What scares me if more focus in this 2% of the town’s area (estimate), if the remaining 98% suffers extreme decline. The dream is an university which ranks well in the UK, a special touristy area and Cambridge Uni (Trinity College) supported Enterprise Island… the waterfront flats apartments can support the high-end STEM jobs what the Enterprise Island will aims to bring… the remainder of the town, housing estates etc. despite rise in value will be extremely neglected.

    A nice neighbourhood amongst all the run down slums surrounding it.

    Except, at the same time – with a considerable head-start… the Princes Street office corridor rivals the Enterprise Island.

    #3209 Score: 1
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    Mr Gummer today telling us how lucky we all are..

    The Upper Orwell Crossings – what it means for Ipswich

    The Upper Orwell Crossings – what it means for Ipswich
    By Ben Gummer on March 17, 2017 in News

    This time last week I was standing just in front of car park on the Waterfront, waiting for a photocall to announce the architect who is going to build our new bridges over the Orwell. BBC Look East’s Kevin Birch was there too and as we chatted he reminded me that we had been at precisely this spot back in 2010, when I launched my campaign for a Wet Dock Crossing. And I remember it well: I had sent out a press release, rung up the journos, but on the day – which was cold, wet and very miserable – only Kevin turned up.

    I was going to take Kevin and whoever else came out on a launch, kindly provided by Alan Swann at Neptune Marina, out to the lock to have a good look at where a bridge would go. But when I invited Kevin to step in, he said “not likely” and filmed me rather forlornly leaving the quayside, with just Alan for company. Like some parodic Napoleon I disappeared into the rain, to a destination Kevin and his viewers could neither see nor cared very much about. He must have thought I was mad – and was happy to say as much when we laughed about it last week.

    It has been a rather longer journey to this point than the short paddle from the Waterfront to the Prince Philip Lock, and in the meantime the Wet Dock Crossing has grown into the Upper Orwell Crossings project, budgeted at £100m. The first five years were consumed getting the support of the major landowners and the councils, whose opposition in the past had killed any idea of a scheme before it could get to the preliminary study stage. But once they were behind what I proposed, we were able to get the money we needed to develop the idea, submit a full business case and then secure the money required from the Treasury.

    For the past year the project team at the County Council, under the leadership of a redoubtable duo – Deborah Cadman and Suzanne Buck – have been going hammer and tongs, mapping the land, starting the investigations, and delivering the design competition that I have long insisted is vital if this bridge is to be what I know it can be.

    You see, these bridges will not only cut town centre traffic – by as much as 27% in the evening peak, and not only will they release vital development land in the middle of the town, but they will also be very visible to people who live and work in Ipswich. They symbolise so much about our ambition for the future and how we value the town we love. And that is why I was insistent that they could not look like motorway bridges but had to be beautiful, as the very best bridges always are. Which is why we decided to get architects to compete to design the bridge, drawing in some of the biggest names in the world for a cold November judging session in Endeavour House.

    This was a revelation. There were brilliant ideas from all five shortlisted firms. But Fosters were – by a country mile – the finest. It was telling that they spent the first ten minutes of their presentation not on design but on how these bridges should release the town’s potential to grow, to prosper, to create high quality jobs and a better future for all of us. And when they came to how they wanted to design the structures, we were all blown away.

    This is a remarkable moment. Norman Foster began his career in Ipswich and now he returns as one of the greatest architects of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is a powerful story of our growth as a town and what we want for the future. And it is a story that now the world will know about, such is the beauty of his designs and the electric impact they will have on Ipswich and its reputation across the globe.

    It does indeed feel like an age since my desultory launch with Kevin Birch nearly seven years ago but I am unafraid to say that the result – revealed last Friday – has made me unspeakably happy that all of us have stuck with that vision.

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    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Profile photo of Mart Mart.

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3212 Score: 0
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    He really has done it hasn’t he? He leaked too much information… “for a cold November judging session in Endeavour House”.

    So the Vision knew the architect AND final design up to 4 months before revealing to the public?!

    Ben doesn’t entice confidence in those running our town… it really is THEM (all big and important) and … members of the public. Sounds like it was held back to coincide with local elections campaigning. How could he sit on a secret that long?

    I found it funny with the figures… “30%! Hmm, sounds too rounded, lets take off 10% genius! 27%”… there is no evidence or logic to support such an assumption.

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