Haughley road improvements continue

TRANSPORT bosses said today that work on the £32 million Haughley bends improvements is on schedule - and traffic should be using it by the end of the year.

TRANSPORT bosses said today that work on the £32 million Haughley bends improvements is on schedule - and traffic should be using it by the end of the year.

The project will improve safety on a notorious stretch of road which has seen numerous accidents through the years.

A spokeswoman for the Highways Agency told the Evening Star: “The A14 Haughley New Street to Stowmarket £32m improvement scheme is progressing well and is due to be completed by December 2008.

“The scheme will improve safety on the A14 by building a new 2.3 mile dual carriageway between Haughley New Street and Stowmarket.


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“By removing the current 50mph speed limit and separating local traffic from traffic using the A14 for long distance journeys, local journey times should be reduced.

“Most of the work is being carried out away from the existing A14 carriageway to limit any delays to road users.

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“The Highways Agency is committed to making drivers' journeys safe and reliable and this scheme will ensure that the roads are safer and will help reduce the number of incidents.”

But villagers are dismayed that smaller road closures to accommodate the work have left them facing serious delays and the diversions are confusing, leading to HGV drivers ending up in villages.

John Matthissen, a Green mid Suffolk district councillor who represents a number of the villages around Stowmarket, said: “The town is festooned in diversion signs.

“Not many people understand where they are being diverted to. HGVs are wandering country lanes lost. Consultation has been poor and not this has happened the information is not good.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “All the closures are needed for reasons of safety, at the request of the Highways Agency, while the road construction work is carried out.

“We have had to extend the period of the existing road closure on the Harleston to Haughley road and a fresh closure on the slip-on road from Stowmarket on to the west bound carriageway has been put in place in order to construct the tie-in between the new carriageway and the existing one.

“The slip road is the responsibility of the Highways Agency. Unfortunately this has resulted in a long diversion through Stowmarket to access the A14 near the Tesco supermarket. This will be in place for a further eight to ten weeks and we regret the delays and inconvenience this may cause to local residents.”

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