Poll: Cash from site of John Lewis could be used to improve notorious A14 junction
14:45 11 February 2014
Crunch talks will take place today to find a solution to traffic problems at one of the most notorious junctions on the edge of Ipswich.
The Nacton junction on the A14 has become increasingly busy following the development of the Ransomes Europark industrial estate and Ravenswood housing development.
Extra traffic heading to Futura Park and the likes of Waitrose/John Lewis at home has also added to the congestion.
There are now regular queues at the junction during morning and evening rush hours, and many companies with factories or offices on the business park are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact on their business.
The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has organised a meeting to discuss options this evening at the Ipswich Building Society headquarters on Ransomes Europark.
It will be attended by Suffolk County Councillor with responsibility for roads Graham Newman as well as council officers.
There is money to make road improvements following the development of Futura Park – the site of the new Waitrose and John Lewis store, Ravenswood and Ransomes Europark itself.
However there can be no changes to the A14 junction itself without agreement from the Highways Agency which is responsible for that road.
That is already in discussions with the county council about possible improvements to the road network.
Mr Newman said: “We cannot decide anything about the junction itself without it being a joint project with the Highways Agency.
“However we can look at ways of improving the road between that junction and the Thresher roundabout which is a serious bottleneck.
“We are aware of the concerns of the businesses up there and of the increasing number of people who live in the area and are hoping to come up with improvements.”
He thought the Highways’ Agency’s proposal to introduce a speed limit over the Orwell Bridge between the Nacton and Wherstead junctions would help to ease the pressure on the junction.”
Business people said any attempt to ease congestion in the area was welcome.
One manager of a business in Ransomes Europark said: “The development on the old Crane site with Waitrose and Oak Furniture has caused more traffic going on that road. We are right near the A14 so it’s had less of an effect on us than people further down the road, but during the peak times it’s pretty congested round there. The biggest problems really are probably caused by incidents on the Orwell Bridge.”
He said congestion was particularly bad when the clocks went back in October and the number of accidents on the Orwell Bridge rocketed.
The council, he said, should be giving consideration to how further development at the Ravenswood site will affect the Nacton Road which would become a “key route providing passageway to those business and residential areas”.