Traffic gridlock warning at start of major roadworks

IPSWICH: Motorists travelling through the town centre face weeks of disruptions as major roadworks to redesign a busy roundabout get started.

The works are expected to wreak havoc as the re-modelling of the Duke Street roundabout takes place.

The multi-million pound venture will see the roundabout removed and replaced with a new junction with traffic lights.

As part of the first phase, Pownall Road was closed and a new junction was created onto Fore Hamlet.

The next stage, which began this week, will close Duke Street to traffic for eight weeks and Back Hamlet for six weeks.

In the third phase, new traffic lights will be installed at the junction of Back Hamlet and Foxhall Road and a bus lane will be built along Bishops Hill.

When work on the �3.5million project is finished, access to Back Hamlet will be for eastbound traffic only – vehicles heading towards the town along Foxhall Road will have to drive along Grove Lane and Woodbridge Road.

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Meanwhile, two crashes yesterday created the kind of gridlock which these improvements are trying to alleviate.

Emergency services were called to the westbound carriageway of the A14, approaching the Orwell Bridge, after an accident which saw a car strike the central reservation.

The collision left one lane blocked and commuters were stuck in tailbacks as they attempted to reach Ipswich.

It happened close to the Shell Garage at the Nacton interchange around 6.20am and involved a lorry and a red Mini Cooper.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said there were no serious injuries and the road was cleared by 8.30am.

Meanwhile, a man was taken to Ipswich Hospital complaining of neck pain after a collision between two cars and a motorcycle in Ipswich.

Emergency services were called to the crash on St Margaret’s Green shortly after 7.35am.

The accident involved a red Suzuki motorbike, a black Chevalier and a blue Ford Mondeo.

A spokesman for the Suffolk police said the injury was not believed to be serious. The accident caused traffic to build up to Major’s Corner and Crown Street.

Vehicles were diverted along St Margaret’s Green, until the road was re-opened at 8.45am.

n Will the roundabout improvements make a difference? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to evening starletters@eveningstar.co.uk