Double roadworks leads to traffic chaos across east Ipswich routes
Motorists trying to get around east Ipswich have been confronted by gridlock after a second major road was closed for work on a water main.
Part of Woodbridge road has been closed since early July and is due to be shut until the middle of September while a gas main is replaced.
But this week the traffic problems in the area have been increased because Anglian Water is spending three days replacing part of a water main at the junction of Sidegate Lane and Bristol Road.
Although this is not an official diversion for the Woodbridge Road work, it is used by many motorists – including some of the buses in the area.
On Wednesday the problems in the area were especially bad because it was the bin collection day.
Local councillor and Labour group leader on Suffolk County Council Sandra Gage said residents were furious that both works were being carried out at the same time.
She said: “It is total gridlock in Sidegate Lane. Nothing can move up there. The road is at a total standstill. I don’t know why the county council allowed both of these works to take place at the same time. It is not an emergency.
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“I know it is not the official diversion, but it is used by a lot of traffic and there are buses going up there.”
The Anglian Water work was logged with the county council’s network assurance team who said it could go ahead.
A spokesman for the county council said: “Sidegate Lane is not an official diversion for the Woodbridge Road work and everyone wants to get it completed before the children go back to school next week and traffic gets worse.
“Where would you put the limit for roadworks? Would you stop roadworks in Tuddenham Road because something is happening in Woodbridge Road.”
Unlike some other counties, Suffolk does not have a permit system for utilities who want to carry out routine work under roads – but they have to be informed before work starts.
They do try to co-ordinate work – but sometimes it is necessary for two different utilities to work on separate projects in the same part of the town.
The work in Sidegate Lane is due to be completed on Thursday after which the road is due to be reopened.