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Roadworks completed ahead of schedule after concerns raised football fans may miss England's big game

PUBLISHED: 13:24 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:52 11 July 2018

Traffic lights in Wherstead Road earlier this year Picture: GREGG BROWN

Traffic lights in Wherstead Road earlier this year Picture: GREGG BROWN

The roadworks that caused tailbacks along one of the busiest routes into Ipswich this morning have competed ahead of schedule, helping football fans get home for England's World Cup match.

Anglian Water’s works along Wherstead road had been scheduled to continue until tomorrow – but the road was confirmed fully open this afternoon.

The roadworks had led to complaints from drivers this morning, who said their journeys had been delayed by up to 40 minutes.

Barbara Taylor said they had caused hold-ups throughout the town centre.

“To add insult to injury, when we reached the temporary traffic lights there was no sign of any other activity having taken place,” she added.

“Our concern is that this will have a significant effect on people trying to get home in time for the match tonight.

“This seems remarkably inconsiderate.”

Labour’s Jack Abbott, who represents the Bridge division at Suffolk County Council, said special provisions ought to be taken to avoid further delays this evening, when traffic was already expected to be busy.

“I’ve asked (highways portfolio holder) Mary Evans’s team to get in contact with Anglian Water to see if we can come to an arrangement this evening so that the road can be reopened earlier to make sure all the fans who want to watch the game, either at home or n town, can travel without massive delays,” he said.

Suffolk County Council has since confirmed that Anglian Water had completed the works, and lifted the traffic restrictions.

A council spokesman said highways officers often requested traffic restrictions be lifted during key periods when traffic volume was expected to be high, so long as it was safe to do so.

Anglian Water said traffic lights had been put up to allow teams to work safely.

The latest tailbacks follow a series of disruptions affecting drivers travelling through south Ipswich.

In May, drivers faced lengthy delays due to works to reconstruct a pedestrian crossing in Greyfriars Road.

It followed previous delays in February, when Wherstead Road was said to have been plunged into chaos as Anglian Water engineers replaced the cover of an underground tap.

And in January there were reports of tailbacks on the A137 and the B1456 towards Ipswich and very slow moving traffic on Wherstead Road, caused by roadworks, with two-way traffic lights, carried out by BT.

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