Frustration over plan for six months of roadwork at key St Augustine’s junction
- Credit: Archant
A major roadworks scheme which is set to cause chaos on a key route in Ipswich for up to six months saw dozens of people turn out for a meeting on the matter.
On June 4, Suffolk County Council will start work on rebuilding the stretch of Felixstowe Road from the Sainsbury’s superstore at Warren Heath to the St Augustine’s Roundabout.
Two lanes of traffic heading into town are to be created, and one coming out, with the work requiring a temporary speed limit and contraflow to be introduced until September 8, as well as some overnight closures at the start of the project. Engineers will also change the cycle routes in the area and install new pedestrian crossings.
The work is expected to last until November 17, with major disruption expected for traffic using that section of Felixstowe Road.
From September 10 to November 3 there are also due to be temporary traffic lights around the clock, which the council says will be manually-controlled during the day to try to ensure congestion is managed as well as possible.
An exhibition into the scheme saw a number of disgruntled nearby residents turn out to voice their concerns - most fearing the work would not solve problems but instead move them to another section of the road. There were also concerns that traffic would approach the roundabout too fast for safety.
Retired highway engineer Barry Yallop, from Bixley Road, said: “This will just move the traffic faster to a bottleneck and make things more dangerous. They should introduce a 30mph limit right around the north of Ipswich – often traffic can’t go that fast anyway.”
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Ivan Harris lives in Broke Hall House of Bucklesham Road. He was worried the changes would make it more dangerous to get on to the roundabout: “It’s already risky getting on there because traffic goes quite fast – now it will be even faster.”
Paul West, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich, was at the exhibition and was relaxed about the negative reaction to the proposals. He said: “Local residents are obviously affected by the work on their doorstep, but if we didn’t do anything and development carried on over the next few years, all the vehicles would just come to a halt on congested roads that were totally inadequate.”