The A12 south of Ipswich is the second worst strategic road in Britain according to a survey by the government's official watchdog Transport Focus.

Drivers gave the road only a 61% satisfaction rating - higher only than the A27 coast road from Brighton to Portsmouth.

It was, by far, the worst road in the country on the surface quality scale getting a satisfaction rating of only 44%.

The A14 from Felixstowe to Catthorpe in Leicestershire was rated much higher - and a spokeswoman for Transport Focus said this reflected general satisfaction among drivers using its full length.

The overall satisfaction rating for the A14 was 75% and for surface quality 69%.


Made with Flourish


More than 9,000 road users took part in the watchdog’s survey about their last journey on a motorway or major ‘A’ road managed by National Highways.

One driver using the A12 said: “The state of the A12 road surface is terrible, added to that the on-going roadworks make it a fairly unpleasant journey.”

National Highways is currently upgrading the A12 between the M25 and the A120 junction at Marks Tey south of Colchester - but the work has been delayed over several years.

The many roadworks on this stretch of road can make journeys tortuous.

On the A14 major work to replace the concrete road between Haughley and Woolpit is likely to cause delays until next summer.

The Suffolk Chamber has been campaigning to improve road links for many years - but it is set to be some time before the biggest challenge in the region, the Copdock junction south of Ipswich between the A12 and A14, is completed.

East Anglian Daily Times: Paul Simon of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. Picture: Paul Simon

Paul Simon from the Chamber said: “Unsurprisingly, there would appear to be a positive correlation between user satisfaction levels on the one hand and the amount and type of investment into the country’s major roads on the other.

"Although drivers will welcome the current resurfacing projects along both the A12 and A14, in spite of the short-term inconvenience, it is vital that the Government goes a lot further and backs the much-needed investment at the crucial junction between the two roads.

“The Copdock Interchange remains a significant pinch point, frequently resulting in considerable delays and additional costs for businesses.

"For many years, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, working with a range of partners, including Transport East and Suffolk County Council, has argued that National Highways should prioritise investment in a scheme that recognises the ongoing growth in traffic in and out of the Port of Felixstowe.

"We are extremely worried, therefore, to understand that even investigatory work is being pushed further and further back to beyond 2030.

“Businesses and other road users will not thank the Government for these continued delays.”

A spokesperson for National Highways said: "Over £100 million of improvements to the A12 is underway and will be completed by next summer.

"This will see the old concrete surface of the A12 between J13 - J15 (Margaretting bypass) and J25 - J26 (Marks Tey- Stanway) completely removed down to the foundations.

"It will then be reconstructed using recycled material from the old road and state-of-the-art techniques, before being finished with a new asphalt surface. This will provide smoother, quieter journeys and less need for maintenance and repair in the future."

The A12 widening scheme between Chelmsford and the A120 at Marks Tey could see the start of work next year with an estimated completion in 2027/28.