Triple whammy for drivers as CityFibre digs up vital Ipswich routes
PUBLISHED: 11:09 07 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:27 08 September 2020
Drivers heading back to their workplaces in Ipswich today were hit with a triple-whammy as broadband company CityFibre partially blocked three parallel routes to the town.
Its road workers set up temporary traffic lights on Norwich Road and Bramford Road – and Bramford Lane was also partially blocked by the company although the total road closure installed last week was lifted early.
Motorists who tried to find ways around the long queues of traffic waiting to get through the temporary traffic lights found other routes were just as bad as their original one.
Two years ago Suffolk County Council announced it was looking at setting up a permit scheme to ensure that different utilities did not clash with each other – but there was no mechanism if a single utility wanted to dig up multiple roads at the same time.
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On Norwich Road traffic trying to get through traffic lights outside the Glyn Hopkin car dealership was backed up beyond the railway bridge and at times beyond the Ashcroft Road junction.
On Bramford Road, the three-way traffic lights at the junction with Sproughton Road was causing very long queues at what is always a busy turning at all times.
It is understood there is some frustration among councillors that this has happened when there are supposed to be processes in place to avoid this kind of clash.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk Highways, which co-ordinates roadworks for the county council, said it tried to coordinate roadworks where possible: “The works currently being carried out are taking place on the side roads leading off the main routes into Ipswich. Using multi-way lights is the safest option.
“CityFibre has been instructed to manually control the traffic signals during peak hours to try and help reduce congestion and they must be removed as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Charlie Kitchin, CityFibre manager for Ipswich, said: “Throughout the build programme, we endeavour to limit our time in any one area and work closely with stakeholders, such as Suffolk County Council Highways Team, to plan our work and manage disruption. We also communicate with residents, businesses, and retailers as we move into new areas to ensure everyone is aware of the build, the measures being taken and the expected length of time we will be there.”
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