Road chaos could have cost friend's life

AN IPSWICH man whose friend lay ill as he queued in traffic has today blamed planners for congestion in the town.Laurence Englefield of Alderlee, Ipswich spent three-and-a-half hours stuck in jams when the town ground to a standstill following two accidents on the major roads into Ipswich.

AN IPSWICH man whose friend lay ill as he queued in traffic has today blamed road chiefs for congestion in the town.

Laurence Englefield of Alderlee, Ipswich spent three-and-a-half hours stuck in jams when the town ground to a standstill following two accidents on the major roads into Ipswich.

He was on his way to hospital to collect a nebuliser for his friend when accidents on Wherstead Road and two on the A14 caused major disruptions.

The situation was worsened because of a traffic light failure in Handford Road.

The Evening Star has launched a campaign to look into the A14 and A12 roads which carry so much traffic that the roads can become gridlocked around Ipswich whenever there is an accident.

He said: "My fear is that one day the traffic congestion in Ipswich is going to cost someone their life even if they are not stuck in it.

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"Our neighbour is reliant on a nebuliser machine and it went wrong on Thursday dinner time so the hospital supplied him with a replacement which my wife and I went to collect.

"He should use this machine every two hours to enable him to breathe properly."

The 54-year-old left his home in Stoke Park at 3.20pm last Thursday and arrived at Ipswich Hospital at 4.30pm.

It then took him another two hours and 15 minutes to travel home.

Mr Englefield added: "He could hardly breath when we walked in the door and because he didn't know where we were that exacerbated it even more.

"My neighbour does get about a bit but if he had attempted to go to the hospital he would have had no chance - he would have sat in his car and had an attack.

"He has major problems with emphysema, pulmonary disease, angina and a hernia. He is also diabetic.

"A traffic jam in the town brought his quality of life to substandard and I just saw red. There must be hundreds of people in the town in similar situations."

Mr Englefied said aside from the accidents there was always problems with congestion in the town particularly at Duke Street roundabout and in Handford Road.

He blamed this on poor planning and said recent traffic calming measures were making the problem worse.

He added: "I don't know where the plans come from. In Grafton Way the lights are so close to the roundabout if it goes red you have got two cars there waiting. A third car is on the roundabout and anything coming over the bridge has to stop on the roundabout. If planners had put these lights further down by 30 or 40 yards we wouldn't get that situation.

"It seems like the planners aren't drivers - they do surveys and go on them but don't drive around and see what the problems are."

Stephen Auld, Ipswich council's service manger for transportation, said: "Of course we drive around the place. It's our job and we live and work here. I have done for 30 years and in any case nothing is done without a site visit. The work is done by qualified engineers who put arguments for and against it before a decision is made.

"The lights at Grafton Way junction are to help pedestrians and cyclists across the busy road. It is part of cycle route one and we have designed it as a safety measure.

"We have got to get people across the road and if people have to walk too far they won't use the lights.

"We are aware it is reasonably close to the roundabout but have put keep clear markings on the roundabout."

n. What do you think about the road system in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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