Drivers voice displeasure at 'nightmare' delays after A14 closure
PUBLISHED: 19:02 15 June 2019 | UPDATED: 20:48 15 June 2019
Motorists have endured "nightmare" delays through Stowmarket today as bridge maintenance work got underway on the A14.
Drivers took to social media to voice their displeasure at the traffic misery, which has been caused by the closure of the A14 eastbound carriageway between Junction 49 and Junction 50.
The closure has forced traffic through the centre of Stowmarket and led to lengthy delays.
The eastbound closure for the £1.5m bridge maintenance work, which will see joints on the viaduct carrying the road replaced, began on Friday at 9pm, and the carriageway will remain shut until Monday at 6am.
Next weekend will see the same work take place on the westbound carriageway from Friday at 9pm to Monday 6am. Traffic will be diverted via the A1120 and A1308 Gipping Way.
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The £1.2m work is part of the £55.8 million being invested in maintaining and improving the east of England's trunk roads and motorways this year.
Commenting on social media, one driver reported it took 45 minutes to travel from Woolpit to Stowmarket, a journey which would normally take around ten minutes, while another bemoaned "huge traffic jams" from 8am.
Commenting on Facebook, another motorist said: "Absolute nightmare trying to cross Stowmarket at any time today."
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Keith Scarff, town councillor and deputy mayor, said although the works were "a nuisance" for people, he felt Highways England had done all it could to minimise the disruption.
"Highways England delivered a presentation to councillors prior to the work to explain everything they would be doing to mitigate the disruption, things like parking restrictions on Bury Road, changing the timings of the traffic lights and signage," he said.
"The works are essential and have to be undertaken, and I know they are a nuisance for local residents and people using the A14 but I'm not sure what they [Highways England] could have done differently."
Ashley Prigmore, assistant service delivery manager at Highways England, said: "We understand how important the A14 is. By doing this we're able to take vital road upgrades that may have taken 8-12 weeks and complete them over two weekends. This will have a huge impact in terms of minimising disruption."