Could the A14 between Copdock interchange and Orwell Bridge be resurfaced?

The A14 by the Orwell Bridge.

The A14 by the Orwell Bridge. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

A meeting is to be held between council leaders and highways chiefs in a bid to get a concrete section of the A14 resurfaced.

It is hoped work will be done to the stretch of road between the Copdock interchange and the Orwell Bridge to reduce the level of noise for residents living in Belstead, Copdock, Pinewood and south-west Ipswich.

It is a battle that has long been fought by chairman of Belstead Parish Council David Cobbold after years of noise nuisance complaints from his villagers.

Now his plight has been taken up by South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, who has organised a meeting between himself, Highways England and Belstead, Copdock and Pinewood parish councils.

Mr Cartlidge said that during the build-up to the election campaign, Mr Cobbold took him for a drive along the concrete section of the A14.

He said the difference between the concrete part of the road and other stretches was “striking”.

In June, Mr Cartlidge met with Highways England to discuss the over-running engineering work on the A12 and it was then that he set up the meeting.

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Mr Cartlidge said: “It’s not one that can be resolved overnight but Highways England can be seen as one of those distant and faceless organisations so I think it’s important to get a member of the team to meet with the local people.”

He said he believed that part of A14 would be resurfaced in the future, but when the change happened it would a “massive job”.

The road was built in the early 1980s and Mr Cobbold said there was a programme of smoothing out which started at Great Blakenham and was due to run to the Orwell Bridge, due to be competed by 2010.

However Mr Cobbold said the recession in 2008 affected the plans and meant the section of the A14 that passes through his parish was still concrete.

“It’s rutted concrete and it goes past thousands of houses,” Mr Cobbold said. “The noise is tremendous – all you have to do is listen to the noise from Great Blakenham to Tesco to realise the huge difference.”

Around 18 months ago, the A14 on the Felixstowe peninsula was resurfaced with low-noise material because of damage to the road surface which had reportedly increased traffic noise in Trimley.

“This triggered our anger as we’d already been going at it for some time so having it done there was like a slap in the face,” Mr Cobbold added.

After five years of campaigning, Mr Cobbold said now the MP was involved he was “hopeful” that something would be done so “everyone can sleep easier”.

A Highways England spokeswoman said: “Our asset manager has been invited to Belstead Parish Council meeting to hear and discuss their concerns about noise on the A14. Following the meeting, where appropriate, we will look into the concerns raised.”

The meeting will be at Belstead Village Hall on September 24.