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A140: Answers given over time taken to re-open road after lorry crash

06:00 24 January 2014

A lorry overturned on the A140 near Little Stonham and took down overhead cables. The lorry was carrying tuna and washing up liquid.

A lorry overturned on the A140 near Little Stonham and took down overhead cables. The lorry was carrying tuna and washing up liquid.

Police and council bosses have defended the time taken to re-open a major road which was closed for 14 hours after a lorry crashed into a telegraph pole.


Highways officials and police shut the A140 at Little Stonham, from around 3.30pm on Wednesday to about 5.30am the following morning as an articulated lorry which was lying in a field by the road had to be recovered.

The vehicle had crashed into a telegraph pole at around 10.40am spreading tuna tins and washing-up liquid into the field. Early estimates said the road – which links Ipswich and Norwich – could be closed for five hours.

But in the end motorists were forced to use diversion routes until 5.30am yesterday.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said he would be carrying out an “urgent review” into why the road was closed for that amount of time.

He said the diversions which were put into place had led to “chaos”.

Last night police said they would see whether any “lessons could be learnt”.

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “The scene on the A140 was a particularly difficult one for emergency services to deal with.

“Not only was the lorry on its side and the driver trapped but there were also live cables that had been damaged and were resting on the vehicle.”

The driver, believed to be in his 30s, was trapped for an hour-and-a-half before he was released and taken to hospital with minor injuries.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said highways engineers were called at around 1.30pm on Wednesday to complete a road closure which was in place by 3.30pm.

He said: “Whilst we weren’t directly involved in it, we understand the lorry recovery proved particularly difficult because of its position on the muddy field.

“We have also received reports of some motorists driving counter to the diversion routes – which caused congestion on the small rural roads involved.”

Highways engineers were called out again to clean the road at about 3.15am after the lorry had been removed from the field.

Matthew Hicks, Conservative county councillor for the area, said although the road had been closed for a “long period of time” the lorry’s recovery had been done “as fast as it could have been”.



  • The pole was obviously an electricity pole, not a telegraph pole.

    Report this comment

    John Haseltine

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Formos, get some very large boulders and place them strategically.....that should stop them. I know how you feel.

    Report this comment


    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • It's always "reviews" and "lessons could be learned",and the outcome? It happens again.

    Report this comment

    Tony G

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • This accident is justification why the A140 should be a dual carriageway all the way along right to the outskirts of Norwich !, the lack of investment in our road infrastructure is disgusting !

    Report this comment


    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Of course it took a long time to reopen the road. It took AGES for a star repoter to finish their sandwich and get out there. Dual the A140 but hang on back up... Last week it was the A12 that linked suffolk and norfolk wasnt it ???? Well that already is dualled so thats ok then thats why no money gets spent on it

    Report this comment

    Joe bloggs

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • “We have also received reports of some motorists driving counter to the diversion routes" Some?? For two hours at the evening peak, the lane outside our house was a line of near stationary HGVs and cars as far as the eye could see, each way having to go up the verge to let the other way pass". The rest of the evening was a steady procession of vehicles of all sizes. After losing a narrow 20m long strip of my front garden to HGV wheels, I ended up spending the evening standing there in a hi-vis jacket trying to prevent more of it being turned to liquid mud and splattered into the road.

    Report this comment


    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • It's easy to get frustrated sitting in a nice warm car stuck in the middle of this as I have been twice this week. Driving past the EDF engineers last night working on the edge of the carriage way in the dark, freezing wind and plenty of rain, I thought to myself would I like to be working out there? No, and I doubt many of my fellow motorists would either. I'm sure everyone did their best - it was an accident after all and these things are hardly planned for. Perhaps the powers that be should concentrate their efforts on making the road safer rather than looking for someone to blame for the inevitable delays that followed this event. The Emergency Services and Power Engineers did a sterling job in some awful conditions - maybe we all need to learn to be patient and let them get on with it?

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Boy

    Friday, January 24, 2014

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