|Ipswich Ring Road|
|From:||St Matthew's Street (TM159448)|
|To:||Slade Street (TM166441)|
|Distance:||0.8 miles (1.3 km)|
|Meets:||A1156, A1071, B1075, A137, A1156|
|Route outline (key)|
The A1022 forms the west and south part of the Ipswich Inner Ring Road, although this is probably only a fraction of what was intended.
The route starts off at a roundabout with the A1156 St Matthew's Street and Berners Street and heads south along Civic Drive. This was built in the early 1970s to try and alleviate the congestion that was causing problems in Ipswich town centre, particularly in the St Matthews area, and provided a route for through traffic heading towards Felixstowe from Colchester and Stowmarket. Previously, this traffic would have joined those bound for Woodbridge and Lowestoft by going via Crown Street before heading down Upper Orwell Street and Fore Street.
Civic Drive is D2, and heads south for a short length before we come to the roundabout with the A1071 Handford Road, which heads to Hadleigh and ultimately Sudbury via the A134. It's also the turn for the A12 and Colchester. Turning left here brings you in the shadow of the fifteen-floor Civic Centre, as well as The Spiral underground car park which burrows down like a corkscrew.
Civic Drive now swings slightly in a south-easterly direction, heading past the huge office of AXA Insurance and the Police Station on the corner of Elm Street. After about 350 m or so, we reach the Greyfriars roundabout and the intersection with the B1075 Princes Street, the main road from the town centre to the railway station. This was always a busy junction and, even though the traffic from the Cornhill now does not exist following pedestrianisation of the town centre, it is still the main route in for the Buttermarket Shopping Centre.
Years ago, there used to be a nightclub in the middle of the roundabout (reached by the pedestrian subway beneath) and this was part of the ill-fated Greyfriars development. The nightclub, like most of Greyfriars, has since been demolished although evidence of the nightclub remains in the subway.
From here, the A1022 originally carried on as the D2 Franciscan Way, past the Willis Corroon building (described as the biggest Marmite jar in the world) before reaching the junction with St Nicholas Street at a signalised T-junction. The original plan was for the D2 to carry beyond St Nicholas Street, presumably to eventually reach the A1156 again near the Suffolk College, but this never materialised. The A1022 would then turn right down St Nicholas Street and end at the St Peters Street/Star Lane junction.
However, it became clear in the eighties, following the construction of the Stoke Bridge double roundabout junction with the A137, that traffic headed for Franciscan Way was not using St Peters Street and St Nicholas Street, but instead using Greyfriars Road and Friars Road as a rat run, emerging on Franciscan Way at St Nicholas Church.
In 1987, this route was upgraded to become part of the A1022 and to provide the missing link in the inner circle of roads. Leaving the Greyfriars roundabout, Franciscan Way (now single carriageway) swings south at St Nicholas Church (Friars Road now being lost to history) and reaches a signalised junction with Wolsey Street, for the Cardinal Park entertainment complex. Onward it becomes Greyfriars Road, until the Stoke Bridge roundabout complex where to a certain extent, it cannons off the A137.
It then becomes part of the docks one-way system, heading east along Star Lane, and west along Key Street and College Street. It appears to terminate at the traffic lights with Slade Street, which is once again the A1156.
Original Author(s): KevS