Highways bosses see red over Copdock traffic lights
ipswich: Transport boffins working for the government’s Highways Agency have come up with an innovative way to keep traffic moving on the congestion-blighted Copdock Mill roundabout.
They are planning to install extra sets of traffic lights on the roundabout in the hope it will keep traffic flowing when more lorries start using it to get to and from the Port of Felixstowe.
The port was told to help finance improvements to the roundabout to ensure that congestion there did not get any worse when its expansion was completed.
And work to “improve” the roundabout by installing more lights is due to start in the autumn.
A spokesman for the government’s Highways Agency said: “The Highways Agency is currently in discussion with Suffolk County Council about the final layout of changes to the A14/A12 Copdock Interchange. The Agency is planning to start work on this busy interchange in the autumn.
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“Traffic lights are a valuable tool in managing traffic flows, particularly at busy roundabout locations, and have always been part of the planning for this project.
“The Agency considers that sets of lights will form an important part of controlling traffic queues and thereby minimising the risk of rat-runs taking place.”
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However Suffolk county councillor with responsibility for transport Guy McGregor warned that introducing more traffic lights on the roundabout – there is already one set in place – would be a recipe for disaster.
He said: “It’s going to slow down the traffic and lead to longer queues. We all know what local drivers will do – they’ll use the old A12 through Copdock and Washbrook as a rat-run.”
The Highways Agency had produced earlier proposals which had been rejected because of concerns about safety – but Mr McGregor was concerned that the roads would be even less safe if more drivers used rat-runs.
He said: “I would like to see consideration to new lanes linking the A12 with the A14 to ease the pressure on the roundabout itself – that would really ease congestion there and put an end to the rat-runs.”
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