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Northern bypass needed to stop Orwell Bridge closure chaos in Ipswich, say residents

PUBLISHED: 08:15 01 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:51 01 December 2016

Traffic queuing on Orwell Bridge. Image: Andrew Partridge

Traffic queuing on Orwell Bridge. Image: Andrew Partridge

Archant

Fresh calls for a northern bypass have been sparked after police closed the Orwell Bridge for the second time in just over a week.

Officers shut the A14 in both directions at around 9.50am yesterday after a man was spotted on the bridge – both east and westbound traffic was at a standstill until approximately 10.30am.

Drivers were diverted at Wherstead and the Nacton Interchange, but congestion tailed back to the Copdock Interchange on the eastbound side and Seven Hills on the westbound carriageway.

People travelling into Ipswich via London Road and West End Road were also affected.

The man, who was successfully talked down, was later taken into custody where he was detained under the Mental Health Act.

Dover coastguard confirmed two crews from Harwich RNLI had been called to support the police operation. Readers took to social media to voice concerns over the traffic problems caused when the bridge is closed.

Brian Lawrance said: “Ipswich needs a bypass so badly it’s unbelievable it hasn’t happened by now.”

While David Rubins simply wrote: “#northernbypassnow”.

News of the bridge’s closure comes just days after it was shut by high winds.

There was gridlock on the A14 in both directions last Tuesday after police closed the bridge for safety reasons.

It was shut for more than 12 hours, causing chaos for commuters across the county.

Last week this newspaper launched a campaign backing calls for a northern bypass after frustrated motorists said traffic relief is needed more than ever.

At the time, Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said: “I am very pleased that the Star has taken up the important campaign to get another road link around the north of the town.”

Sign the petition by clicking here. Email starletters@archant.co.uk or comment below with your thoughts.

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