Roadworks raise fears over access

RESIDENTS worried about emergency access to their villages are today hoping for changes to planned roadworks which they think could cause chaos.People living on the Shotley peninsula are concerned that diverting traffic through narrow country lanes while important resurfacing work takes place on the B1456, the main road in the area, may cause a tragedy if fire crews or ambulances are needed but are unable to reach their destinations.

RESIDENTS worried about emergency access to their villages are today hoping for changes to planned roadworks which they think could cause chaos.

People living on the Shotley peninsula are concerned that diverting traffic through narrow country lanes while important resurfacing work takes place on the B1456, the main road in the area, may cause a tragedy if fire crews or ambulances are needed but are unable to reach their destinations.

Richard Wrinch, Shotley Parish Council chairman, said he would have preferred for only half the road to be closed at a time so traffic could still travel on the B1456, and added that the parish council had written to Suffolk County Council to express its concerns.

He said: “They see them (workers repairing the road) as more important than the potential dangers if emergency vehicles can't get through to ill people or burning buildings. I'm not sure they've actually weighed it up.

“You couldn't send fire engines round these roads.

“The roads people are being diverted on are much too small and some can't cope with more than one car at once in many places.

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“The amount of traffic that has to go through the lanes means that if you put more than three vehicles in the same stretch it will be complete gridlock. The roads just aren't up to it.

“It does worry some people, it actually annoys more.”

However Mr Wrinch said he was pleased that Suffolk County Council had changed the timing of the work.

Originally the resurfacing had been scheduled to take place during the daylight hours on May 3 and 4, but now it will be between 10pm and 6am on May 10 and 11, with work continuing on May 12 if more time is needed.

Mr Wrinch said: “At least the times have been changed - it was ludicrous to think it could be done during the day.

“I know the road needs to be improved but it is a shame it leaves people worried about emergency access.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council, which is responsible for carrying out the road resurfacing work, said: “The work on the B1456 is resurfacing the whole road and this is why both the carriageways are closed at the same time.

“Roadworks are timed to cause the least inconvenience.

“We do let emergency services know in advance so they can make extra arrangements.”

Are you worried the roadworks will cause problems? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

The roadworks

The stretch of the B1456 being resurfaced runs between Stanley House in Chelmondiston to Wades Lane in Shotley.

The work is due to take place on Thursday, May 10, and Friday, May 11, continuing on May 12 if necessary.

During the work the road will be closed and Shotley Gate-bound traffic will be diverted via Bylam Lane in Chelmondiston, Lower Houses Road in Harkstead, Rat Hill in Erwarton, and back onto the B1456 at Shotley.

Ipswich-bound traffic will be diverted via Rat Hill in Erwarton, The Street in Harkstead, Harkstead Road, Fir Tree Hill, Fishponds Lane in Holbrook, the B1080 Ipswich Road in Holbrook, and back onto the B1456 at Woolverstone.

SOURCE: My Shotley

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