Published 21 May 2012
Ipswich is a city with a strong cycling tradition and a well developed network of local, regional and national cycle routes, making it a great place to cycle to work.
Cycle route provision
Ipswich is at the intersection of National Cycle Network (NCN) routes 1 and 51. From the south west, NCN1 links Ipswich with Hadleigh and beyond, using a combination of minor roads and traffic free paths. NCN1 goes right into the centre of Ipswich, crossing the River Gipping on Bridge Street. From the city centre heading east, NCN1 passes along Rope Walk, past Alexandra Park, continuing through the eastern suburbs before splitting in two, with a traffic-free option through Rushmere Common.
NCN Route 51 enters the city from Great Blakenham in the north, roughly following the path of the River Gipping. The route crosses the city centre before continuing south east through Gainsborough and Ravenswood on its way to Felixstowe.
Regional Route 48 encircles the northern half of the city linking smaller outlying villages such as Flowton, Elmsett and Tuddenham St Martin.
Elsewhere a network of local cycle routes provide cyclists with ways into the city centre, avoiding the main Bramford and Norwich Roads. Local Route 12, for example, uses the Bridle Way of Christchurch Park for a traffic-free route into the city from the north.
The Ipswich Cycle Map also shows a whole network of suggested cycle routes and other cycling amenities.
To aid cyclists wishing to access the city centre, Ipswich Borough Council has introduced the Safer Cycling Scheme which allows cyclists to pedal across the town centre from both directions. The scheme is operational between 4.30pm and 10.30am every day. It covers Carr Street, Tavern Street, The Cornhill, Westgate Street and the pedestrianised section of Princes Street.
Sheffield-style cycle parking stands are located at the following points in Ipswich city centre:
- Buttermarket / Upper Brook Street
- Crown Pools (adjacent to William Street Short Stay Pay and Display car park)
- Elm Street (beside the Police Station)
- Lloyds Avenue (at the bottom of the hill)
- Old Cattle Market (at the end of the bus station)
- Old Foundry Road
- Orwell Place (outside Church)
- Princes Street (adjacent to Giles statue area)
- Providence Street;Queen Street
- Rail Station
- St Peters Street;Tacket Street (adjacent to NCP car park entrance)
- Tower Ramparts
- Tower Street
- Upper Barclay Street Short Stay Pay and Display car park
- Westgate Street
The Ipswich Cycle Map shows more detail on parking locations.
Cycling and trains
Ipswich mainline railway station has 16 cycle lockers on platform 1 and 2, plus 85 spaces in the cycle compound by the car park. Full details are available here.
If you’re thinking of taking your bike on the train, check with the individual train operator policies here.
Elmy Cycles on St. Helen’s Street is the city’s main independent bike shop. There are also branches of Halfords in Warren Heath and the Suffolk Retail Park.
Don’t leave home without...
Suffolk County Council’s Ipswich Cycle Map shows routes, safe crossing points, parking and bike shop locations in the city. Download it here.