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Could notorious A14 Copdock junction be upgraded in 10 years?

PUBLISHED: 07:30 22 August 2020

Could the Copdock Interchange be rebuilt before 2030? Picture: MIKE PAGE

Could the Copdock Interchange be rebuilt before 2030? Picture: MIKE PAGE

Suffolk MP James Cartlidge is hopeful work to upgrade the A14’s notorious Copdock Mill junction could take place in a decade - after it finally made Highways England’s list of future projects.

The junction between the A14 and the A12 to the south of Ipswich is one of the most notorious on the nations road network. Vehicles, including lorries heading to and from the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe, have to negotiate several sets of traffic lights and queues at the site have become legendary.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Highways England was to upgrade more roads across the country following the completion of the new A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

MORE: Could the Copdock Mill junction be rebuilt?

Initially there were fears that the work could have to wait until 2030, but Mr Cartlidge said he was hopeful the junction would be improved long before then.

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There was no mention of the aims of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce-sponsored “No More Delays on the A14 in Suffolk” campaign in the initial announcement – but now Highways England has produced a list of 30 projects nationwide that could be considered after the completion of the current five-year investment programme in 2025.

One of these is the redesign and rebuild of Copdock Mill in a project that is likely to run into hundreds of millions of pounds to complete.

To allow traffic to flow easily through the junction, there would need to be major flyovers and underpasses constructed – in a project that would be likely to take years to complete.

The Chamber is hoping that Highways England will also upgrade many other junctions between Felixstowe and Newmarket to speed traffic along the A14.

A spokesman for Highways England said the agency would be using money from the Port Infrastructure Fund to conduct a study to find out whether it was worthwhile upgrading Copdock Mill.

Mr Cartlidge said he had had a letter from roads minister Baroness Vere confirming that the Copdock Mill upgrade was in the department’s pipeline and that officials were working on plans for the junction – and it should be included in the list of schemes for work to start between 2025 and 2030.

He said: “They are looking at whether the scheme would be good value. I am confident it would be one of the most economically worthwhile schemes they could come up with.”

Over the next five years, Highways England is planning to resurface some of the concrete stretches of the A14 in Suffolk which are so noisy for motorists and residents.


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