Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Haughley/Suffolk: Answers demanded after lorry crash causes A14 six-hour closure and rush-hour tailbacks

09:14 25 February 2014

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

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

Answers were last night demanded after a crash on the A14 led to part of the road’s closure for almost six hours – again causing lengthy delays on one of the county’s major routes.

shares

Engineers worked overnight to repair a 100metre stretch of central reservation damaged when an HGV ploughed into it 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. The outside lanes of both carriageways were expected to reopen before 6am today.

Last night, Suffolk MP David Ruffley and the county’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore condemned the response to the single-vehicle accident as “unacceptable” and pledged to launch an investigation.

Mr Ruffley said: “The A14 is the main arterial road connecting East Anglia to the continent and the Midlands, so very serious delays like these are not even remotely acceptable.

“The first port of call is to get the police report to find out what happened. Was there enough manpower? Was equipment to extricate the lorry there quick enough? An investigation is a matter of urgency.”

Mr Passmore said he was “surprised” over the time taken to resolve the incident.

“Situations like these are unsatisfactory and unacceptable,” he said. “The Highways Agency must have a quick response and roads must reopen as soon as possible.

“We have very quickly got to come up with systems for the entire A14 in Suffolk to deal with these accidents. We need to have proper, recognised diversions which need to be enforced to prevent people’s lives from becoming a misery.”

Engineers from Skanska, working on behalf of the Highways Agency, arrived at the scene with a crane at 5.20pm, a Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said. The lorry was removed at around 7pm.

Mr Passmore added: “If it is the case that the Highways Agency took two hours to get there, that makes me very cross. I am not prepared to put up with this. It is not good enough.

“By definition, the quicker they get there, the quicker they can assess the damage and carry out the required work.

“The police debrief will find out exactly what happened and will be discussed with the Highways Agency, but this is an ongoing problem which needs to be resolved.”

Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, said questions will have to be answered at upcoming meetings between the council, police and the Highways Agency.

“Clearly the present situation is not adequate,” he said

“We are trying to get more local deployment of specialist kit. Some of it comes from very long distances – sometimes from the other side of the M25.”

A Highways Agency spokesman said: “We are committed to providing safe and reliable journeys for all road users in East Anglia and are committed to working with police and other emergency services to reduce delays following incidents.

“We do have a formal debrief process following any incident, which is helpful so that all parties involved can discuss and share any lessons to be learnt.”

One lane of the A14 remains closed this morning between J47 and J49 as work is carried out to repair the barrier.

shares

3 comments

  • 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

    Report this comment

    A Smith

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Its now 09.21 next day and its still untouched. 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.

    Report this comment

    richie w

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Sounds like there is no strategic plan and they make it up each time there is a problem. Usual response from Newman and Passmore to look for someone to blame after the event rather than making sure contingency plans are in place beforehand.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Jessica Howard at Norwich Crown Court for the sentencing of rapist Clive Howard (no relation).
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

An Essex woman who was raped in a car park has described how an attack by a serial sexual predator has made it “impossible to enjoy moments of happiness” with memories of the incident darkening “every piece of joy” she has.

Will winnings be counted as well as ballot papers?

A prospective UKIP MP has offered his Conservative rival a bet on the general election result – as internal party polling suggests a UKIP surge in north Essex.

Two men attended the property in a lane off Bildeston Road, Little Finborough and claimed they were there to carry out home repairs.

An elderly woman was targeted in a distraction burglary at her home in a Suffolk village, police have said.

The inside of a cannabis factory, which was found at Ardleigh last year

A suspected burglar has been arrested after police found a large-scale cannabis factory in Hadleigh.

The Stowmarket carnival procession through the town last year.

The first details of this year’s Stowmarket Carnival have been unveiled.

Russell Osman

A former Ipswich Town and England international footballer will be lining up alongside his son for the London Marathon this Sunday, raising more than £2,000 for charity.

Ipswich has been described as a

Voters in Ipswich are crucial in the battle for Downing Street according to a new report which describes the town as one of 12 “Kingmaker” seats that will determine who becomes the next prime minister.

An Abellio Greater Anglia spokesman (AGA) said the fault has now been fixed after it was earlier reported that disruption could last until 10am. (Stock photo).

Train services between Ipswich and Felixstowe have returned to normal after a signalling fault at Trimley caused cancellations this morning.

British Transport Police (BTP) said paramedics were called to the incident, which is being treated as non-suspicious, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

A man was fatally hit by a train near Ipswich last night.

Shaun Webber has been jailed for more than four years after stabbing his brother multiple times in an alleyway

An Ipswich man who stabbed his brother multiple times in an alleyway after he made disparaging remarks about their mother has been jailed for four years and six weeks.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages