Six months of roadworks in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, begins today

Felixstowe Road, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Felixstowe Road, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Roadworks set to disrupt one of Ipswich’s key routes kick off today, as motorists are bracing themselves for six months of travel misery.

The major scheme gets underway on the stretch of Felixstowe Road from St Augustine’s roundabout and the Sainsbury’s store, which will see a new lane created to improve traffic flow town centre-bound, upgrades to the two existing toucan crossings and a new pedestrian crossing.

Work is expected to last until November 17 – 24 weeks.

An exhibition two weeks ago outlining the work to those living nearby resulted in disgruntled locals raising concerns over how much the work would help and the length of disruption.

But Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Ipswich, spoke at the time of the necessity for the work.

“Local residents are obviously affected by the work on their doorstep, but if we didn’t do anything and development carried on over the next few years, all the vehicles would just come to a halt on congested roads that were totally inadequate,” he said.

The first phase of work this week will remove the traffic islands during overnight work, before surface dressing work between Sainsbury’s and the A12 roundabout.

The main body of work lasting 12 weeks will then get underway on June 18 where the new shared use cycle path and pedestrian path will be created, alongside the new toucan crossing near Sainsbury’s and the additional lane being marked out. A contra-flow system will be in place to manage traffic during this time.

The final eight weeks in the autumn feature work around the St Augustine’s roundabout.

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Ipswich MP Sandy Martin has already questioned how much it will reduce congestion, while other fears voiced have included questions over whether it will just ferry more traffic into the bottleneck at the roundabout.

The scheme is the last in a series of works as part of the South Eastern Ipswich Radial Corridor Improvements, with work already having been completed at the Heath Road/Foxhall Road junction, Bell Lane and Beech Road in Kesgrave, and junctions at Clapgate Lane/Landseer Road and Maryon Road/Nacton Road.

Figures published by the county council suggests Ipswich’s economy takes a £17million hit from congestion issues alone.