Traffic chaos after Burton's blaze
ROAD commuters suffered rush hour chaos today following the fire at Burton's near the waterfront.Initially both lanes of the one-way system around College Street were completely blocked off but as soon as firefighters had bought the fire under control, one lane was re-opened.
By Georgina James
ROAD commuters suffered rush hour chaos today following the fire at Burton's near the waterfront.
Initially both lanes of the one-way system around College Street were completely blocked off but as soon as firefighters had bought the fire under control, one lane was re-opened.
Those trying to get to work suffered severe delays and had to be redirected from their normal routes while the fire service continued to monitor the safety of the former Burton's building.
Traffic coming from Key Street was not able to travel the full distance along College Street and was diverted down Foundry Lane and through the dock area.
By 7am traffic jams had begun to form and diversion systems had been put in place.
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As diverted traffic filtered through the docks, drivers were directed over Stoke Bridge, down Vernon Street, around the Old Maltings roundabout, back down Vernon Street and back over Stoke Bridge in order to avoid the unsafe building.
Traffic along Star Lane was not disrupted but was moving slowly as congestion continued to build.
Traffic from the east side of Ipswich was snarled up around the dock area and queues tailed back as far as Bishop's Hill.
The fire left the town in gridlock throughout the early part of the morning and police believed the diversions would be in place until at least midday.
Pat Ryan Ipswich Borough engineer said: "The council had to divert traffic and vehicles were not able to travel the full length of College Street.
"At some point this morning one lane of College Street will be re-opened.
"We will be fencing off one lane between Foundry Lane and the Novotel roundabout so there will be no diversions, only a restriction.
"We are now in the process of a clearing up operation and removing debris from the scene."