Fears Ipswich will be brought to ‘absolute standstill’ as major roadworks projects overlap
PUBLISHED: 07:11 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 07:11 11 January 2018
Drivers could face long delays heading into Ipswich over the next few months as major roadworks projects overlap.
Gas main installation in Norwich Road, carried out by Cadent Gas, started on Monday and will continue until early February.
Junction improvements in Nacton Road near the Golden Hind pub began on the same day and will continue into March.
Similar upgrades at the Heath Road, Bixley Road and Foxhall Road roundabout will start on January 22 for 12 weeks – with Foxhall Road shutting to traffic at its junction with Darnford Gardens.
Overnight BT works will also begin at both ends of Wherstead Road, controlled by multi-way traffic lights, on January 23 and continue into early February.
Jack Owen, shadow spokesman for transport at Suffolk County Council, called for better coordination and said: “This will bring Ipswich to an absolute standstill.
“There are so many people that work and live in Ipswich that are going to be faced with these overlapping works, I’ve seen the signs up and people have been notified but I think this calls for better coordination by the council.
“I know it’s a mix of utility companies and the council but it’s getting ridiculous now.
“It’s going to be chaos, and take people a good deal longer to get anywhere.”
Driver Stephen Elmer, who commutes into town for work, said the roads are already quite busy.
He added: “It seems pretty bad at the moment, especially when I come into town from Kesgrave.
“I use Gainsborough Library quite a lot and the roadworks up there are a bit of a nightmare already.”
Council bosses said: “Suffolk Highways will be beginning its next junction improvement scheme at the roundabout connecting Foxhall Road, Bixley Road and Heath Road on January 22, with the works improving travel times for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.”
While Vince Doggett, authorising engineer at Cadent Gas, added: “To prepare for the work we held discussions with the local authority and also carried out a ground survey so we could develop a design and schedule that would enable the project to be delivered in the least disruptive way possible.
“The new gas pipes we’re installing will last for many decades and ensure local people continue to enjoy access to safe and reliable energy supplies for cooking and heating.”
A BT spokesman confirmed Openreach engineers are installing underground cable in Wherstead Road from January 23 to February 5, but added they are taking place from 7.30pm to 4am.
News of the latest upgrades comes as motorists faced long delays in Wherstead Road this morning due to BT works.
A map showing the scale of the roadworks can be found on the roadworks.org website.