Calm after chaos

RUSH-hour traffic in Ipswich was back to normal today after yesterday's chaos which left the town gridlocked.Two accidents blocked the A14 during the afternoon – and there were further problems for motorists after a power cut hit traffic lights at a key junction near the town centre.

RUSH-hour traffic in Ipswich was back to normal today after yesterday's chaos which left the town gridlocked.

Two accidents blocked the A14 during the afternoon – and there were further problems for motorists after a power cut hit traffic lights at a key junction near the town centre.

The accidents were on the A14 between Wherstead and Copdock, and forced police to divert traffic through the town centre.

But the problems increased when traffic lights at the Yarmouth Road/Handford Road junction went off because of a power cut.

The emergency services were first called to the A14 westbound after two articulated lorries and a Peugeot 206 car were involved in a collision just after 2pm.

The air ambulance was also dispatched to the crash, which was about half a mile before the exit to London between the A137 junction and the Copdock interchange.

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Tailbacks built up on the westbound carriageway as police and fire crews dealt with the accident, which took six hours to be cleared.

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said drivers on the eastbound carriageway of the road also experienced delays as an ambulance was brought in from that direction to give treatment to the driver of the car, after not being able to get through the gridlock.

Fire crews took less than an hour to release an elderly man from the wreckage of his car.

He was then taken to Ipswich hospital by ambulance with injuries that were not believed to be life threatening, after complaining of pain in his shoulder and neck.

Less than an hour later a second accident on the A14 westbound added more traffic chaos at Copdock Mill.

The crash involved a tractor and two lorries but no one was hurt.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokeswoman said the traffic light problem had been caused by a power surge in the area and engineers had been working to make them operational again by 6pm.

The gridlock led to major problems for people travelling home from work. Journeys that normally take only minutes were taking hours.

Bus services were also badly hit, with operators effectively having to rip up their timetables as vehicles got caught in jams.

One service took more than two hours to cover the three-mile journey from Ipswich to Rushmere.

The A14 was finally cleared by the middle of yesterday evening, allowing traffic to return to normal by this morning's rush hour.

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