Roadworks begin in Woodbridge Road today...just one month after route was resurfaced
- Credit: Archant
Fresh questions have been raised over roadwork planning in Ipswich, after MP Sandy Martin said that he has “never seen it so bad”.
Mr Martin’s comments came as Cadent today begins five days of work laying pipes in Woodbridge Road – just a month after resurfacing work on the same stretch of road got underway.
Suffolk County Council highways teams carried out overnight resurfacing on the road from March 19 for around a week, following a lengthy period of work by gas contractors Cadent last year which overran by nearly seven weeks but resulted in no fine.
But despite the road having only just been resurfaced, gas work will once again get underway, with roadworks.org reporting that delays are likely.
Utilities often report when they intend to start work, although Suffolk County Council Highways is responsible for co-ordinating roadworks.
It is understood that in the event of emergency works Highways does not get a choice if work goes ahead.
Mr Martin pointed to the schedule of work at the Foxhall Road and Heath Road junction being followed by 20 weeks of work in Felixstowe Road and St Augustine’s roundabout developing a third lane from May, and the decision to dig up Ancaster Road so soon after disruption in Ranelagh Road as key.
“There is no logic behind the roadworks in Ipswich,” he said.
“I have never seen it so bad.”
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He added: “It’s about time there is a proper system that will mean services do their work [on time] and if they don’t they should bear the full cost of having the road resurfaced.”
Signs have also been put up by Suffolk County Council close to the mini roundabout of Woodbridge Road with Cauldwell Hall Road stating that five days of footpath work will go ahead from today, while further up the road Anglian Water has two sets of work planned this week.
Sandra Gage, local councillor and resident said many businesses in the road had voiced their anger.
“SCC does have the authority to place a ban on any planned utility works on recently resurfaced roads that are traffic sensitive such as Woodbridge road,” she said.
“To not do this will allow any number of excavations to take place unchecked, and on such a busy road with several buses routed along it, the road surface breaks left behind will increase the likelihood that potholes will immediately begin to reappear.”
Gary Markham from Markham’s Fishing Tackle and Bait, said that overrunning works last year cost his business upwards of five figures in lost revenue.
He added: “It affected my business quite terribly – it made a considerable difference to us.
“Although the roadworks did move on, the road is potentially cut off and it did make a difference.
“[Something] needs to be done or else they ride roughshod over everyone.”
A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “The majority of works on the highway are carried out by utility companies so when we are notified, we work to coordinate them to reduce impact on road users.
“Often works are brought together, but it’s not always possible for a number of reasons that can be out of our control.
“In this case, these gas connections to houses on Woodbridge Road couldn’t be made earlier.
“There is an enormous amount of work to schedule but our focus remains on keeping roads open.”