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Could a flyover solve congestion on the A12 and A14 trunk roads at Copdock?

PUBLISHED: 16:25 17 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:25 17 February 2017

The Copdock interchange could be radically altered if the county council is successful in its talks with Highways England. Picture: MIKE PAGE

The Copdock interchange could be radically altered if the county council is successful in its talks with Highways England. Picture: MIKE PAGE

Highways England needs to spend £500m improving junctions on the A14 and A12 around Ipswich, including the notorious Copdock junction, to tackle rush-hour delays.

Suffolk County Council highways bosses told a meeting for borough councillors and members of the Ipswich Vision board that the government agency responsible for trunk roads needs to invest heavily on the existing major road network around the town.

The county backed up the calls of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce which launched its “No More Delays on the A14” campaign two years ago.

Around Ipswich the most important – and expensive – problem is caused by the Copdock Mill interchange between the A14 and A12.

The county also wants to see improvements at Wherstead, Nacton, and Seven Hills junctions. The total cost of these projects could be half a billion pounds.

At Copdock Mill, where there are frequent rush-hour delays and regular accidents that can cause serious congestion, there have been regular calls for major work to ease the pressure on the junction.

One option could be to create a flyover allowing traffic between the A12 and the A14 to the east of Ipswich to avoid the roundabout and causing congestion there – vehicles heading into town along London Road would continue to use the existing roads.

The county is drawing up a list of projects that it is hoping to persuade Highway’s England to include in its next five-year investment programme from 2020-2025.

The county’s former cabinet member for transport Graham Newman was at the meeting and said it was important to keep up pressure on Highways England. He said: “There was not much that was new here, but the council must keep on making the case for investment in the roads.”

Stephen Britt from the Suffolk Chamber said: “An improved road and rail network is front and centre of our policy agenda, and is outlined in our No More A14 Delays in Suffolk campaign.

“As part of our campaign we will continue to highlight to Government the priorities for investment at the junctions around Ipswich, the emerging options and need for a northern relief road and the Upper Orwell crossings.”

The Chamber will be meeting MPs to press their case for road investment next month.

17 comments

  • I am all for improvements to Copdock, especially as I use it twice a day, but it seems to me that everyone is screaming for a Northern Bypass, for numerous reasons, and have been for years now! As someone mentioned below, if we are to be listened to then we need to vote for someone else at the next opportunity. Don't vote for more of the same and then moan about it!!

    Report this comment

    Fill-a-stein

    Monday, February 20, 2017

  • Who invited Graham Newman?

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Saturday, February 18, 2017

  • As The Ginge states, RansomesRavenswood development sums up the various council's approach to planning. Shove up huge developments, rake in the cash and simply cross your fingers that the existing infrastructure copes. Same applies to Grange Farm with its disappearing northern relief road. And now we have the same approach apparently being adopted for the Northern Fringe, Adastral Newtown, Foxhall Road and FelixstoweTrimley. And then there's the spectre of Sizewell C on the horizon, for which the original suggestion to extra traffic, IIRC, was a few sets of traffic lights and a Park & Ride. Time to hit these jokers in the ballot box.

    Report this comment

    paul e.

    Saturday, February 18, 2017

  • 500 million? For that you could build a flyover over Ipswich. Now there's an idea.

    Report this comment

    spboy

    Saturday, February 18, 2017

  • A cheaper solution might be to erect signs into Ipswich reading "travel only if your journey is absolutely necessary"

    Report this comment

    Chris D

    Saturday, February 18, 2017

  • be very afraid, graham newman was there, word is he has more traffic lights to get rid of.........but seriously the left turn rolling junctions would help loads

    Report this comment

    john

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • Immediate action could ease congestion at the junction. Reinstate the left turn priority lanes, so they don't go through the roundabout. Especially the A14 West from Felixstowe on to A12 south route and out of Ipswich on to A14 East towards Felixstowe. Once A12 to A14 junction sorted then we need the Northern Bypass built way before wasting money at Severn Hills, Nacton etc. They are nice to haves but sorting out the Martlesham Junctions and the Northern Bypass first. £300m at A12, £200m for Northern Bypass has a lot bigger impact than trying to solving the insolvable of building a massive industrial estate, shopping centre and new housing estate without a new junction on to the A14 at Nacton. That's done and people will just have to queue and if Ransome Europark for commercial reasons wants better access to keep and attract renters onto the site they need to pay for it.

    Report this comment

    The Ginge

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • The original design I worked on for the Copdock interchange was for the A12 to be the main route with the A14 feeding into it closer to Belstead Hall Farm as, if my memory serves me well, the traffic model projected the A12 tofrom London would become the dominant traffic flow with time. The predecessor to the Highway Agency however made the decision to not follow the predictions and we were asked to change the road layout for the A14 to be the through route. Unfortunately for us all today the predictions my traffic modelling colleagues made at the time have proved to be correct. Perhaps the route for a new feeder from the A12 to the A14 towards Felixstowe and visa versa could follow that originally designed route which was intensely investigated for ground conditions at the time.

    Report this comment

    enggeol

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • A flyover is not going to solve the gridlock. We need a Northern Bypass NOW!

    Report this comment

    Ted Maul

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • Motorists should be aware of highway agencies reducing road capacities nationwide. Local authorities should be questioned (Suffolk County Council). It is happening severely in London for a few cyclists... in Ipswich stop lines were moved back from junctions and ASL boxes put in (even with shared bike pedestrian paths on pavements). Take Star Lane gyratory for example which suffers from an unnecessary bus lane... the Grimwade junction has a diagonal stop line - now flat - and an ASL box installed. The loss of one car capacity. If including Grimwade St that stop line has been pushed back with ASL installed loss of another car capacity across 2 lanes (2 car capacity lost). Star Lane Fore Street junction... crossing moved back, loss of another car capacity across 2 lanes (2 car capacity lost). The new pedestrian crossing near Dance East in College Street to cause some delays from time-to-time and loss of capacity. So, what might sound trivial. The gyratory built in the 80s for 80s traffic hasn't been upgraded. It has been downgraded! Only minor tweaks but 5 less cars are able to use the system at any one time. This rises to 9 if including drivers avoiding blocking the crossing. This is 2017 traffic... A less petty example is replacing roundabouts with traffic lights (holding traffic back) and installing the Bishops Hill Fore Hamlet bus lane. Handford Road has seen tweaks reducing capacity. Same fuel consumption as you had decades ago with a petrol vehicle but with a smaller capacity diesel engine at 2017 fuel prices!

    Report this comment

    NorthernBypass

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • These same politicians and Highways England state that the A14 is near capacity and yet now they propose to spend £500m on letting more traffic onto it rather then providing additional capacity. EADT article of the 16-Dec-2016 by the same reporter stated a northern bypass would cost in the region of £200m. So save money build the bypass and solve the junction problems at the same time as there would be less traffic using them.

    Report this comment

    A Smith

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • The £500m figure seems to be a pie-in-the-sky figure by Paul Geater as the article makes no reference to this figure? I am sure remodelling every junction around Ipswich would comfortably reach that figure. Just a couple of months ago the politicians were content on spending one fifth of Paul's specified figure on the Upper Orwell Crossing... to solve all of Ipswich's traffic worries. Are they now waking up to the prospect post-investment, of the Upper Orwell Crossing not going to solve the traffic congestion issues as the problems are (including but not limited to) Copdock and Ipswich East? Deciding to then force the traffic which is far too much for Copdock through Wherstead junction (basic junction) across the bridge that has bottlenecks either side will result in hundreds of millions spent without any real result. Working on Ransomes Europark: the A1189 cannot cope throughout the day outside rush hour. A Northern Bypass will reduce congestion in the town.

    Report this comment

    NorthernBypass

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • Northern bypass first ! ... That will help move lorries about better , just look at the lorry route map for Suffolk and you'll see the difference a Northern bypass route will make . Then upgrade copdock with longer slip roads , three lanes are better than a flyover but any money for road upgrades is better than nothing !

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • The Copdock interchange is without doubt over stressed and needs an upgrade. Yet, for hundred million plus all this will do is move the bottle neck on to the next weakest point. And the next weakest bottleneck will be the Orwell Bridge. It’s questionable that highways, and county chiefs (none of whom live in the Ipswich to Felixstowe area) will prioritise a spend of this amount of money to correct a single fault, rather than a similar sum for a bypass which will complete an orbital allowing multiple options in, out and around the town and region, and which will bring a tenfold return of spend to economic GVA.

    Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • @evilweazel. You are not thinking straight. Surely based on previous road building-alterations in and around Ipswich, the only sensible option is to cause massive disruption whilst this flyover is shoe horned into the already 'not fit for purpose, junction. A Northern By-pass, don't be silly, thats far too sensible an idea for our planners. This amazes me, lets face it, the flyover will only help with this junction, not the sheer weight of traffic that is forced through here because of a lack of alternative routes. The problem is only going to get worse as getting mobile becomes easier, in fact I bet that the flyover will be out of date before its completed. Cue the anti Northern Bypass brigade, or as some call them, landowners between Claydon and Martlesham!

    Report this comment

    richie w

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • "The county" should that not have a capital "C"? just askin'.. Lets have some of what Norwich has had; major improvements to junctions on the A47, and a Northern relief Road, how do they manage to get such things when all we seem to be able to get is traffic lights and speed restrictions?

    Report this comment

    M Prime

    Friday, February 17, 2017

  • For £500m could you not build, oh I don't know, a Northern Bypass that would take a large amount of vehicles from all of these mentioned junctions?

    Report this comment

    evilweazel

    Friday, February 17, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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