A14 holes put drivers at risk, MP claims

HOLES up to half a foot deep beneath Suffolk's busiest carriageway continue to put motorists at risk of accidents, an MP has warned.

Laurence Cawley

HOLES up to half a foot deep beneath Suffolk's busiest carriageway continue to put motorists at risk of accidents, an MP has warned.

The Highways Agency carried out tests on the A14 at the Rookery Crossroads at Rougham after a section of the road began to slump last year.

They have found the subsidence problem has been caused by a drainage crossing trench up to 3m below the road and that cavities up to half a foot deep exist in the failing area.

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley has demanded urgent action before the road deteriorates further or causes a crash. The Highways Agency states it was drawing up plans for a short-term solution before looking in-depth for a permanent fix to the ongoing issue.

Mr Ruffley said: “Now they know the cause of the problem, I want it sorted fast. I was told by the Highways Agency in December that the temporary repair to the area of subsidence is now starting to fail so there is no time to lose.

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“I want these voids filled before the damaged road deteriorates further and causes an accident.

“I will continue to demand regular updates from the Highways Agency until this subsidence problem is resolved permanently.”

In an email to Mr Ruffley from Ranjit Mistry, the Highways Agency's route performance manager said: “In order to accurately establish the extent of any void and to determine whether we have developing problems at any other drainage crossings, we carried out a ground penetrating radar survey on both the eastbound and westbound carriageways.

“The survey highlighted areas within the sub-surface, which may be indicative of the presence of voiding or less dense materials.

“Following these results, we are now investigating the options for filling the voids to obtain a safe short-term solution. This will then allow time for the design and implementation of a permanent solution.

“Whilst the cause of the subsidence has been identified, it is unclear how the voids formed, possibly through natural settlement.”