More than 150 roadworks projects have hit Ranelagh Road, in Ipswich, since 2012

The current roadworks around Ranelagh Road in Ipswich. Picture: JASON NOBLE

The current roadworks around Ranelagh Road in Ipswich. Picture: JASON NOBLE - Credit: Archant

Almost two years worth of roadworks have taken place in Ranelagh Road since 2012, the Star can reveal.

A total of 167 individual projects have been carried out in the road, currently closed for eight weeks while traffic lights are upgraded, over the last five years.

The figures, provided by Suffolk County Council (SCC), show the total amount of time taken to finish the projects comes to 691 days – equivalent to nearly two years.

This calculation takes into account that some of the works are logged multiple times – and are in fact undertaken by the same company for the same duration, but are installed at different sites.

It also considers works carried out on verges and footways, those that did not shut the road to traffic.

Orwell Motorcycles is based in Ranelagh Road. Owner Ray Walters said: “In the first few days of this closure we had customers asking if we were open or not, so we got onto the council and they were good, they put signs up saying business as usual.

“I do think shutting the entire road just for traffic lights is a bit ridiculous.

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“I’ve had a business in Ipswich town centre for 34 years now, and unfortunately I’d go as far to say that many businesses are moving from town because of the infrastructure.”

Seven organisations – including Anglian Water and UK Power Networks – have carried out the works.

Network Rail had the lowest number, completing just two projects since the start of 2012.

Colin Noble, leader of SCC, said: “Suffolk County Council continues to work with public utility companies so that they may legitimately work on the public highway in accordance with the New Roads and Street Works Act.

“This enables the public utilities to manage, maintain and repair their networks as and when required, completing their work and restoring the full use of the highway to the general public as soon as possible so as to minimise inconvenience.

“It does this in a collaborative way and, whenever possible, looks to ensure that work is undertaken concurrently by a single public utility or multiple public utilities rather than in a consecutive manner.

“Work is not undertaken unless it has to be but the information demonstrates the significant effort that is required to maintain gas, water, telephone, electricity and road infrastructure in an ever-changing and increasingly demanding urban environment.

“In many instances, the work did not take place on the carriageway, meaning motorists would not have been inconvenienced.

“The number of instances where multiple works took place at the same general location and at the same time (but separately identified) reinforces the co-ordinated way in which much of this change is managed.”

National Grid representatives said it only carried out 15 of the listed works.

A spokesman said: “We work closely with local authorities and other agencies to plan our work so it can be delivered as efficiently as possible and with minimal disruption.”

UK Power Networks said it had not carried out any work on Ranelagh Road for four years. “We always strive to minimise inconvenience caused by our essential work to maintain and improve the electricity supply for Ipswich,” a spokesman said.

An Anglian Water spokesman said: “We do sympathise with customers inconvenienced by the inevitable disruption our work involves.

“We always aim to piggy-back on other ongoing jobs and work closely with the council’s highways team so they can coordinate this.

“A good example is the Gippeswyk Park sewer scheme, where we have brought our work forward to coincide with the council’s ongoing works.”

The company is investing £800,000 on a brand new pipe to reduce the likelihood of future problems.

A Virgin Media spokesman said: “As we expand our network, we endeavour to minimise disruption to the local communities and work with our contractors to ensure that work is carried out with professionalism and at the highest standard.”

BT Openreach said it carried out the vast majority of its works in Ranelagh Road four years ago.

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