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Motorists face 'nightmare' in Ipswich as series of roadworks hit the town

Work continues rebuild Westerfield level crossing, Picture: PAUL GEATER

Work continues rebuild Westerfield level crossing, Picture: PAUL GEATER

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Motorists have had a nightmare on the roads in Ipswich this week as a series of roadworks have struck the town.

Residents in Ipswich have been facing traffic problems due to a spate of roadworks Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNResidents in Ipswich have been facing traffic problems due to a spate of roadworks Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Westerfield Road has been closed since May 24 to install new crossing equipment at the railway station while one lane of Grafton Way was closed as Anglian Water carry out work on the busy road.

Meanwhile, roadworks have also popped up in Norwich Road, Bramford Road, West End Road and Woodbridge Road.

Paul Clements, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said additional roadworks may put strain on businesses in the town.

"There is no doubt that when there are more roadworks it affects businesses, their customers and staff," he said.

He said he would like to see better communication to businesses about planned roadworks so they can prepare and for more to be done to stagger works, so as not to compound the problem.

Families in Ipswich have also been hit by the roadworks, adding to journey times to school and work.

A spokesman for Coes in Ipswich said although it has not affected trade at the Norwich Road store but has made it a lot more difficult to get to work in the morning.

"Business to be fair has been good and we haven't really felt an effect from the roadworks," he said.

"On a personal note however, it took me an hour to get to work where it should have taken 20.

"There was a lot of traffic coming all along one road."

Emma Cawson commented on Facebook: "Whatever direction I took this morning was a nightmare, why are all these roadworks being done at the same time in the same small area."

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A spokesman for Suffolk Highways said: "While we aim to ensure that all roadworks are co-ordinated to minimise disruption to the general public, we are unable to foresee or prevent utility companies from carrying out emergency works, such as those ongoing at Bramford Road in Ipswich."

"We will continue to monitor all roadworks around the area and attempt to limit our own planned maintenance to avoid causing further disruption."

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We're sorry for any traffic disruption caused as a result of our important level crossing upgrades works at Westerfield to improve the safety of this crossing for users and the railway.

"While we understand that this can cause some local traffic flow problems, we are working to upgrade the level crossing which will improve safety for drivers in advance of an expected increase in trains using the line. We expect to reopen the level crossing by the end of 15 July as planned."

An Anglian Water spokesman said: "In common with other utilities, we have to provide the local Highways Authority with regular updates on our planned work.

"If they see different utilities are planning work in the same area they can ask them to look at the possibility of working at the same time.

"We always try hard to coordinate with other utilities in such cases, but it's not always possible. Working alongside other utilities can be difficult due to space and safety concerns. Water and electricity for example do not mix.

"Sometimes it is possible to arrange for one utility's work to follow directly on from another's but this means roads are shut for longer.

"Highways Authorities may prefer to allow traffic to flow freely for a time before a road is shut again. This is a matter of judgement and is for the Authority to decide."

A spokesman for gas firm Cadent said: "We are currently carrying out essential gas mains replacement work to replace ageing metal gas pipes with tough new pipes. This work will help ensure people living in the local area keep on enjoying safe and reliable gas supplies for cooking and heating for many decades to come.

"Installing the new pipes will also help cut future disruption from ageing gas pipes.

"The work has been planned in close conjunction with the local authorities and has been designed to be delivered with as little disruption as possible.

"Currently its anticipated that work and road reinstatement should be completed by July 12, 2019."

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