Key Belstead route to be closed for four weeks for water and electricity work
PUBLISHED: 15:30 14 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:33 14 June 2018
Motorists in Belstead are bracing themselves for a month of delays as four weeks of a full road closure on a key route gets underway on Monday.
Grove Hill will be closed from Monday until July 13 while Anglian Water carries out work on water connections for new homes in the area.
Chiefs at the utility and Suffolk County Council’s Highways team said that the nature of the work meant temporary traffic lights or night work was not appropriate, with a full closure needed.
An electricity contractor will also be doing work at the same time to prevent an additional road closure in the future.
An Anglian Water spokeswoman said: “From next Monday (18 June), our engineers will be working to install a water connection to a new housing development on Grove Hill in Belstead.
“We hate causing disruption for our customers, and if we could lay pipes without digging up the ground, we absolutely would.
“But because the road is narrow, and in order for our teams to work safely, Grove Hill will need to be closed while the work is completed, with a diversion route in place.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes.
“An electricity company will also be undertaking some work alongside us, meaning the road won’t need to be closed again at a later date to try and minimise any further disruption for local residents and road users.”
It is hoped the road will not need to be closed for the full duration of the work.
Concerns had been raised over the impact the closure will have, with Grove Hill a key route connecting Pinewood and south west Ipswich with Claydon.
Among those were the extra time added to journeys and the use of narrow rural lanes as diversions which lorries could also have to use.
A county council spokeswoman said: “The closure on Grove Hill, Belstead is taking place to allow Anglian Water to lay mains and connect utilities.
“Given that this will involve excavations along the length and width of the carriageway the road must be closed because vehicles won’t be able to pass through.
“If traffic lights or occasional closures were an option, they would have been used. Closures are a last resort.
“Suffolk County Council’s network assurance team have liaised with all parties known to require works in this location and arranged a collaboration to bring two planned road closures into one shared site.
“The closed section of road can be navigated around by using the official diversion route which involves coming through Pinewood estate at one side and Buckshorn Lane on the other.
“We are aware that Buckshorn Lane is narrow, however there are no other more suitable options available and the diversion route allows for all types of vehicles.”