Traffic chaos hits Felixstowe

MOTORISTS using one of the busiest routes into Felixstowe town centre were facing gridlock again today as work takes place on a new road safety scheme.

MOTORISTS using one of the busiest routes into Felixstowe town centre were facing gridlock again today as work takes place on a new road safety scheme.

Highways chiefs have appealed for drivers to be patient and avoid the area and seek alternative routes if possible for the next month.

But shoppers trying to reach the Solar superstore car park have been left less than happy – with dozens complaining about the chaos, which has seen High Road West jammed with tailbacks from the police station to Garrison Lane.

One man told The Evening Star: "It's awful out there – the traffic is queued back for hundreds of yards and it is taking an age to get through.

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"I know there is never a good time to do this work but surely the winter months are quieter than now."

A woman motorist said: "I am dreading having to go home because it will not be very quick getting out of the car park and back onto the road again."

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But Suffolk County Council traffic safety engineer Peter Ingram said there was no best time to do the work, one of two schemes costing £100,000.

"Whenever we do it is going to cause some disruption and upset some people. We have tried to minimise the disruption as much as possible and we would ask people to be patient just for these few weeks," he said.

"It is an area where there are alternative routes if you are using that road to reach the town centre.

"When it is finished there will be a lot of advantages, providing traffic control to benefit people coming out of Solar and also for pedestrians going shopping or taking children to and from the school."

The work, expected to take four to five weeks and not eight weeks as advertised, will see traffic lights, facilities for pedestrians and cyclists and anti-skid surfacing, installed in High Road West at its junction with Station Approach.

There have been six injury accidents in the last three years at the junction and Felixstowe Safety Committee has been campaigning for several years for action.

Temporary three-way lights are being used during the roadworks but the work is only being done between 9.30am and 4.30pm, avoiding the rush-hours and Fairfield Infants morning school run.

Motorists can still reach the town centre and avoid the roadworks via Garrison Lane and then Cobbold Road, or Grove Road and Beatrice Avenue.

Mr Ingram said by doing the work now Easter had been avoided and the scheme would be complete before the summer season.

Negotiations had taken place with town centre traders and councillors and it had been agreed to delay the second scheme – traffic lights and new crossings outside the cinema in Crescent Road-Cobbold Road – to September to avoid the summer and be finished before the Christmas shopping season.

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