Traffic lights will be switched off in Kesgrave to see if congestion at busy A1214 junction improves
11:10 16 October 2015
A trial switch-off of traffic lights at one of Kesgrave’s busiest junctions is set to take place next month.
The roundabout at Ropes Drive West, which connects the A1214 with Ropes Drive is a key route between Ipswich and the A12, and regularly sees a build up of traffic at peak times.
From November 12, the lights will be switched off for two weeks, and traffic flow monitored to assess whether any improvements can be made.
As part of the trial, the eastbound slip road for the A14 will be closed to all traffic except cyclists, in an effort to simulate what a future layout could look like if the lights were to be taken out.
Once the trial ends, camera footage will be analysed and recommendations put to Suffolk County Council to decide whether to permanently switch off the lights.
Suffolk county councillor for Kesgrave, Robert Whiting, said: “This is a key junction for those trying to access/exit the Grange Farm estate but also for road users wanting to travel to the east of the county.
“Therefore, it is important that where a sensible idea is put forward which may improve journey times, we should look at it. The timing of the trial is deliberate to make sure the proposed new layout is being tested at a typical time, rather than when traffic would be lighter i.e. school holidays.”
The trial, which has been funded by locality budgets from Suffolk county councillors Robert Whiting and Christopher Hudson, and Kesgrave Town Council, will begin with a one week camera survey of existing traffic from November 3, with temporary signs and lines put in place on November 10.
When the trial ends on November 26, the layout will be returned to its current format.
Councillor Whiting added: “We don’t know how the junction will cope, that’s the purpose of the trial.
“I would ask road users to be patient and remember that it is only for a short period of time. If there is no improvement or queues get longer during the two weeks then I would certainly not be recommending that the changes are made permanent.
“It’s important that people let us know their views during the trial so they can be considered as part of the decision making process.”
The trial follows a similar assessment in 2008 at the Ropes Drive East roundabout, when a trial switch-off of traffic lights found traffic flow improved and the lights permanently abolished the same year.