Ipswich drivers facing four weeks of misery in New Year road closure

Roadworks at the Ashcroft Road junction on Norwich Road always cause problems for motorists. Picture

Roadworks at the Ashcroft Road junction on Norwich Road always cause problems for motorists. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

Drivers using one of the busiest roads in Ipswich face four weeks of chaos at the start of 2018 as a new gas main is laid under the road.

Norwich Road will be seriously disrupted between the Ferodo railway bridge and the Rayleigh Road junction while the new main is laid by gas infrastructure company Cadent.

The main road will remain open, but there will be one-way working with temporary lights. There will be a four-way light control at Ashcroft Road/Norwich Road and Cromer Road.

Kelvin Road, Lister Road and Rayleigh Road will be closed at their junctions with Norwich Road.

The county council has told Cadent that their staff will have to work 12 hours a day to ensure the work is completed as quickly as possible.

A spokesman for the county said the company had also been told it would not be given an extension for the work unless there are exceptional, unforeseeable, circumstances.

“They know we’ll be monitoring their progress to try to ensure everything goes according to plan,” he said.

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Cadent are currently preparing for the work and a spokesman said they appreciated they would be causing disruption – but the gas main had to be replaced. It was decided to schedule the work after Christmas to avoid too much disruption.

He said: “We are planning to carry out essential gas mains replacement work in Cromer Road, Ipswich.

“This work must be carried out to ensure people remain connected to safe and reliable gas supplies for cooking and heating.

“Work is scheduled to be carried out near the junctions with Norwich Road and Deben Road from Monday 8 January to Friday 2 February 2018.

“Work has been carefully planned in close discussion with the local authorities and we are doing all we can to ensure the work is delivered with as little disruption as possible.

“We will insert the new mains into the old pipes wherever possible which will reduce the need for digging and associated traffic disruption.

“We have avoided the busy Christmas shopping and New Year period when the roads can be busier to help ensure any inconvenience to the local community and road users is kept to a minimum.”