A140 reopens after seven-hour closure to repair pub sign

The Magpie sign overhanging the A140 at Little Stonham was struck by a vehicle on Tuesday

The Magpie sign overhanging the A140 at Little Stonham was struck by a vehicle on Tuesday - Credit: Archant

A pub sign hanging over the A140 at Little Stonham is being fixed after it was struck by a vehicle - causing traffic "hell" as the road was closed for more than seven hours.

The Magpie sign near the village's pub was discovered to be in need of repair on Tuesday, with Suffolk Highways blocking the road on Wednesday morning.

It was eventually brought down as contractors used a crane to reach the 6-metre high structure, which is a grade II-listed monument, in the early afternoon.

Suffolk Highways revealed on Twitter that the road had reopened shortly after 3pm.

The works meant the road connecting Ipswich and Norwich was closed to motorists for most of the day, with a diversion through other villages put in place.

Mendlesham business owner Avi Kniznik, who runs Bagel or Beigel, described the delays caused by the work as traffic "hell".

Magpie landlord Viada Lapene found out on Tuesday that the sign needed repairing on Tuesday and has revealed the pub will be shut for a few days.

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Suzie Morley, councillor for Stonham and leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said highways teams were taking precautions in case any parts of the sign fell.

Suzie Morley, leader at Mid Suffolk District Council Picture: MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL/PAUL NIX

Stonham councillor Suzie Morley said the sign needed to be repaired - Credit: MSDC/PAUL NIXON

She said: "To my knowledge, this hasn't happened before. It's not a common occurrence - the sign was fully repaired around 20 years ago and hasn't been repaired since.

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"I'm not sure what caused the damage, but they're out there fixing it with a crane. This was almost an emergency and people are using side roads to get around.

"We can't take the risk that it could come down on another motorist."

A spokesman for Mid Suffolk District Council said on Wednesday: "Our building control team is working with partners to repair damage to the Magpie sign on the A140 after it was struck by a vehicle yesterday.

"For everyone’s safety, a temporary road closure has had to be put in place while work is carried out to make the structure safe.

"This will not only remove the danger posed to drivers by the damaged structure, but will also allow for repairs to be carried out which are sympathetic to the sign’s character and history.

"We thank everyone for their patience during this necessary closure."

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