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Gas company faces fine after road signs confuse motorists in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 16:03 14 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:10 14 March 2018

Shops in Woodbridge Road have been hit by roadworks over the last year. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Shops in Woodbridge Road have been hit by roadworks over the last year. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Gas infrastructure company Cadent is set to be fined by Suffolk County Council after failing to remove “road closed” signs after completing work on one of the busiest roads in Ipswich.

Gary Markham of Markhams Fishing Tackle. Picture: PHIL MORLEYGary Markham of Markhams Fishing Tackle. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

This caused confusion for motorists who looked for a diversion that was not marked – and left businesses smarting as potential customers drove away from the area.

The confusion increased after Suffolk Highways put up signs warning of forthcoming overnight roadwork next week – leaving motorists even more confused.

Cadent carried out work on the road at the weekend – but this was finished on Sunday. However the signs remained out and were mixed up with those from Suffolk Highways.

A spokeswoman for the county council said the situation had been very confusing – especially as some of their signs had been wrongly put up in the road itself because their staff thought the Cadent roadblock was still in place.

She said: “It has been confusing but we have established that Cadent Gas had not taken down all their signs and this means that we are seeking to fine them for that.”

Suffolk Highways staff were out in Woodbridge Road on Wednesday afternoon removing the Cadent Gas signs and ensuring the warning signs for next week were no longer in the carriageway itself.

Next week’s roadworks start on Monday night. They are scheduled for overnight roadworks between 7pm and 5am for up to eight nights – although the work could be completed sooner if the weather is fine and there are no delays.

Businesses have been hit by the phantom road closure – Gary Markham from Markham’s Fishing Tackle said the latest confusion came after months of problems.

He said: “We had months of problems last year with the road closure and we tried to get some compensation – but it is very difficult.

“This has caused more problems with drivers this week not knowing whether the road is open or not – it has been really confusing.”

A spokesman from Cadent Gas said sub-contractors had left one sign behind when they finished work. He said: “Work to connect people to safe and reliable gas supplies in the road took place in the Woodbridge Road at the weekend.

“This work was completed on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday. This work was carried out with the agreement of the local authority.

“Signs were removed after work was completed but unfortunately it appears one sign was left out by our subcontractors but this was removed today(14 March) we’re sorry for any confusion this may have caused.”

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