Kesgrave residents face travel misery as roadworks cause gridlock on A1214
- Credit: Archant
An east Suffolk town has faced days of travel misery as roadworks caused gridlock on its main road network.
Motorists from the Grange Farm estate in Kesgrave reported travel times in excess of 90 minutes to travel from their homes to the town centre, a journey of around five miles.
The delays come as a result of roadworks on the A1214 Main Road in Kesgrave, the only route into and out of Grange Farm and the main route for Kesgrave residents into the town centre. Kesgrave High School is also based on the road.
Anglian Water is installing a new water connection close to the Ropes Drive roundabout to the east side of Grange Farm.
Temporary traffic lights are due to remain at the junction until Friday, when the work is due to finish.
The extent of the congestion caused Grange Farm resident Paula Hudson-Wood to complain to Anglian Water, stating that emergency vehicles would find it difficult to travel through the area.
Speaking to this paper this morning, she said: “It’s madness on Grange Farm. I was just trying to nip to little Tesco but I gave up.”
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Our newspaper was contacted by several frustrated residents this morning as a result of the gridlock.
Among those you emailed us was Katie Davey, who said: “My mother spent an hour getting onto Grange Farm to collect and take my nine-year-old to school in Martlesham. Another hour to travel from Battles Lane to the Ropes Drive roundabout en route to school.
“Luckily another parent saw her in the traffic and they took my son and walked the route.
“This is usually less than a 10 minute car journey.
“I dread to think if there was an emergency during these periods of heavy traffic!”
Nikki Sawyer said: “It was absolute chaos during last night and this mornings rush hours!!
“It took my husband 2hours 30mins to drive a 25min journey, and myself it took 1hour and 30mins to drive the school run and get to work, this usually takes me 10mins. Grange Farm just wasn’t moving either way!!
“If the works carry on, I’m going to have to walk the school run, which is doable but being pregnant and having to walk over a hour there and back its not ideal and will still make me very late for work.
“I’ve suggested Anglian water should pay for all the extra fuel everyone’s having to use.”
The issue has caused some residents to plan to leave their homes more than an hour earlier than usual.
“I cycle into Ipswich town centre daily from Grange Farm, so it wasn’t a huge problem for me today,” said Steve Warner. “However, I also manage a children’s under 12’s football team and I transport all the equipment for training Wednesday evenings.
“I therefore have no choice but to drive tomorrow so I’m planning to leave at 7:15am. I am still concerned I will not make a 9:00am start despite my office in Ipswich being just six miles away.
“I fear everyone will have the same idea and it will be absolute bedlam again.
“The council need to immediately consider additional and alternative routes to enter and exit Grange Farm. “Thousands of residents and just two roads on and off onto the A1214? During rush hours it is entirely unacceptable and we need a resolution urgently.
“A short-term fix of work being completed during the night is not the solution…..alternative routes being made accessible are.”
Annette Drakeford, who described herself as a ‘very disgruntled resident of Kesgrave’, added: “I live on Main Road, opposite the high school and have had to put up with the delays due to the work being carried out by Anglian Water.
“I do understand that maintenance work has to be carried out but the same stretch of road was dug up recently for works relating to the new build at the quarry - couldn’t it all been done at the same time?
“Also, my son stood waiting for the Park and Ride bus to college which didn’t turn up as it has been redirected via Foxhall Road!”
“They gave zero advance warning,” Lex Wood said. “I was held up 45 minutes this morning.
“Had I known I would have prepared myself and the kids for walking.
“The flow is a joke with still no-one manning the lights, so in some directions the queue is tiny, in the other it is 10+ minutes.
Several residents have also taken to social media - both last night and this morning - to complain of the disruption the works have caused.
One frustrated resident posted on Facebook: “Awful left mine at 7.40am, stuck for an hour ended up heading home.”
Another Facebook user reported it taking half an hour to travel from Battles Lane to Tesco - less than a mile.
Others suggested it was the worst traffic they had seen since moving to the area.
An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Anglian Water engineers are installing a new water connection on the A1214 in Kesgrave. The works were planned with the local highways authority to start from Monday, October 31 and are due to finish on Friday, November 4. We know roadworks can be disruptive and we are very sorry if road users have been inconvenienced.
“Unfortunately the roadworks couldn’t be carried out during half term as A1214 was part of a diversion route for other works being carried out during the half term period. We work closely with highways and other utilities to plan and prioritise work.
“One of our project engineers will be visiting the site today, but all works have been agreed with the local Highway Authority, who visited site yesterday and confirmed the traffic management was set up correctly in line with the Safety at Street Works and Road Works.”
Have you been affected by the delays? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org