Road closed after ANOTHER gas leak on B1113, with severe disruption to First bus service in Needham Market
PUBLISHED: 14:20 04 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:20 04 August 2017
Another gas leak on a main road between Stowmarket and Needham Market has caused severe disruption, with bus services cut back.
Bus users in Needham Market were left stranded on the first day of the closure, while the service has been severely reduced ever since.
The leak started on August 1, and comes after an earlier gas leak shut the road completely in May – and during work to install a new gas main, which has seen temporary traffic lights for many months.
Barbara Barkes, 66, said she trying to catch a bus from outside The Swan, on High Street, on the first day, with no buses turning up.
“There were people who had hospital appointments who needed to get to Ipswich, but no bus ever turned up,” she said.
She went back in the afternoon but was still unable to catch a bus. She said when people tried to contact First they were told it was due to a road closure at Great Blakenham, which is a planned closure. However, First said the disruption is down to an emergency closure near Badley, on the B1113, caused by the gas leak.
The gas mains are managed by Cadent, formerly National Grid. Cadent network supervisor Mark Howells said “essential repairs” are currently being carried out, with a lane closure in place for traffic headed towards Needham Market.
Traffic, including the busses, are being diverted via the A14. He said the repair job is a “complex engineering task”.
Local gas supplies have not been affected by the work. Mr Howells said: “We will do all we can to complete the work as soon as possible but currently it looks like the work will extend into next week due to the engineering complexities.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience this essential work may be causing however the work must be done to help ensure local people keep on enjoying safe and reliable gas supplies for cooking and heating.”
The route 88 and 89 busses are running a reduced service in the Ipswich bound direction. Steve Fountain, operations manager for First Ipswich said: “We are presently managing to maintain a service to Needham Market but the reliability of the service is affected. Journeys into town on services 88 and 89 are now running hourly not every 30 minutes.”