Haughley/Suffolk: A14 carriageways fully reopen after lorry crash – but repair work to continue for five nights

Slow moving traffic on the A14 last night after a lorry smashed into the central reservation, causing major disruption to commuters journeys. Slow moving traffic on the A14 last night after a lorry smashed into the central reservation, causing major disruption to commuters journeys.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
7:03 PM

All lanes of the A14 brought to a standstill yesterday after a lorry crashed into the central reservation have reopened ahead of today’s rush-hour.

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But the Highways Agency said the outside lanes of both eastbound and westbound carriageways will again close tonight – and over the following four nights – as repair work continues.

For safety reasons, until the repairs are complete, a temporary 50mph speed limit is in place 24-hours-a-day, the agency said.

It comes more than 24 hours after a lorry damaged a 160metre stretch of central reservation in a single-vehicle accident on the A14 westbound near Haughley at around 3.15pm yesterday.

Both carriageways between junctions 47 and 49 were closed for almost four hours, prompting tailbacks for rush-hour commuters and heavy diverted traffic in nearby villages.

The inside lane of the westbound carriageway reopened at 6.50pm before the inside lane of the eastbound carriageway, which bore the brunt of the crash, finally reopened at around 9.15pm last night.

The incident led to Suffolk MP David Ruffley and the county’s police and crime commissioner to condemn the response to the situation as “not even remotely acceptable”.

The Highways Agency said last night that engineers would continue working throughout the night in a bid to fully reopen the dual carriage before 6am today.

However, contractors from Skanska, working on behalf of the Highways Agency, found the extent of the damage was far more severe than initial assessments had suggested.

The outside lane of both carriageways remained close until they reopened at around 4.45pm today.

The damaged section of the barrier has now been coned off in preparation for repair work, set to start at 8.30pm tonight when traffic flows are “at their lowest to minimise disruption”, a Highways Agency spokesman said.

“The incident involved a heavy goods vehicle and resulted in a section of the central reservation safety barrier being damaged,” he said.

“Initially the A14 was closed in both directions for police investigation and recovery of the vehicle. Overnight, lane one reopened in both directions; lane two remained closed in both directions for safety reasons but was reopened at 4.45pm today.”

Work is expected to continue over five nights between 8.30pm and 5.30am as 40 posts and 60 beams are replaced and post foundations are rebuilt.

The outside lane closure will be lifted each day ahead of the morning peak period and set up again after the evening peak period.

The Highways Agency is advising road users to allow extra time for their journeys while repair work takes place.

Meanwhile, John Dugmore, CEO of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said congestion on the A14 has a “big impact on business”.

“It has an effect on local business and things such as international exports coming through Suffolk,” he said.

“Business has campaigned long and hard for an upgrade to the A14. Until that work gets underway, we will continue to see incidents having far too big an impact on both Suffolk’s and the UK’s economy.”

5 comments

  • Totally agree with richie w. I lost 30 minutes getting through at 09.00. At least 1 mile of cones, 1 transit van with 3 men in it but no work started at all. We need to seriously look at getting this work out to contract.Highways Agency are having a laugh.

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    sunwindwave

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Failure to plan is a plan to fail. Local polititions don't hold the police and highway authority to account and require them to commit to reasonable levels of service for such events. The cost of delays for Suffolk residents never gets considered when resolving traffic delays.

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    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Totally agree with A Smith comments! I drive along the A14 daily at rush hour! I am never able to hit 70mph due to traffic loads and slow overtaking by trucks who dont slow to let the other past. To much traffic using a dual carriageway road is the problem im afraid!! Cameras and speed retrictions a complete waste of tax payers money as you can never go that fast along there!!!

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    Andy S

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Mr Passsmore and Co’s solution to this will probably be the same stupid one thought up for the Orwell Bridge ‘More reduced speed limits’ with average speed cameras at a huge cost. I travelled over the bridge last night at 5:15pm average speed 57mph so what are the limits and cameras going to do nothing

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    A Smith

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Still vast jams there now, and hardly any work going on, its now, minutes shy of 24 hours.Well, what a total mess. I live in Woodbridge and work in Bury and found out about the road at 4pm yesterday. After a few phone calls to folks I know in the surrounding area I decided to avoid the area all together due to everyone going via the ‘backroads’ I went along the A143 to the A140. This took me 1.5 hours but I thought, these things happen. I got up and left mine at 06.45 today due to the fact that as the radio put it, there are ongoing barrier repairs. I arrived at work at 08.30! This time I was angry, as I passed the barrier repairs there was no sign of any workmen at all, the barrier was totally untouched, what on earth is going on, all I could spy was 3 blokes in yellow jackets approx. half a mile away pointing in the direction of the horrendous snarl up. I expect now that my journey home this evening will be hampered too. How long does it take to do a simple barrier repair, a job that these workers are experienced in. I work hard and pay taxes to fund the roads, I expect a little bit of a show. Someone somewhere is a very poor manager and should be facing an enquiry.

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    richie w

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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