Chaos set to return, expert warns
IT will happen again and again.That was the sombre prediction today from road expert Jeffrey Stansfield in the wake of yesterday's catastrophic failure of Ipswich's road network after crashes shut the A14.
IT will happen again and again.
That was the sombre prediction today from road expert Jeffrey Stansfield in the wake of yesterday's catastrophic failure of Ipswich's road network after crashes shut the A14.
The town's road network is unable to cope with major accidents on the A14 because there is no "safety valve" to ease the pressure when the by-pass is closed, he explained.
The emergency services were first called to the A14 westbound, which was about half a mile before the exit to London between the A137 junction and the Copdock interchange, after two articulated lorries and a Peugeot 206 car were involved in a collision just after 2pm.
Less than an hour later a second accident on the A14 westbound only added more traffic chaos to the Copdock mill on the A12.
The crash involved a tractor and two lorries but no one was hurt.
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The centre of Ipswich was also clogged up with vehicles after the traffic lights stopped working on the Handford Road and London Road junction.
Mr Stansfield, who was county surveyor in the late 1980s and early 1990s, warned that the only way of ensuring accidents like this did not bring the town to a halt would be to build a new northern by-pass.
He said: "That was the solution we came up with in the late 1980s and early 90s but then the administration and government threw out the idea.
"The northern by-pass would relieve pressure on the A14 and would provide an alternative route when that is closed without bringing the town to a halt.
"I don't like going around saying 'I told you so,' but this situation is just the kind of problem we anticipated when the northern by-pass was proposed.
"There's been no real thought about easing matters since it was thrown out – little bits of tinkering on the town's own roads aren't going to help when the A14 has to close."
The proposed northern by-pass would have gone from the Asda roundabout at the north west corner of the town across to Martlesham Heath.
It would have caused serious environmental problems and was soon dropped by the then Conservative government and the Labour/Liberal Democrat administration at County Hall.
Would a northern by-pass help ease traffic problems in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail email@example.com