Angry residents ‘kept up all night’ as nightmare A14 roadworks start
PUBLISHED: 10:05 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:54 12 August 2020
Residents have complained of being “kept up all night” as 24 weeks of A14 roadworks got under way.
Their plight comes as Highways England began its first night of essential works on the carriageway, which will see traffic – including heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) heading to and from the Port of Felixstowe – diverted through local villages including Trimley St Martin, Trimley St Mary and Walton.
One local resident, who did not wish to be named, said sleep had been made “impossible” due to the two-way traffic lights being placed in High Road, Trimley St Mary. Another, posting on Facebook, referred to it as a “nightmare” - while others likened the noise to a heavy thunderstorm.
A contraflow system on the A14, which local parish councils have agreed would have been the preferred option if not for safety, has not been put in place as the carriageway is deemed to be not wide enough.
According to Highways England, the minimal width required to enforce the system is 9.6m – or 8.4m if carriageways are kerbed. The widest point closest to the Trimleys is at J59 at 8.8m, although there are no kerbs.
The rest of the carriageway measures between 8m and 8.1m.
David Southgate, chairman of Trimley St Mary Parish Council, said he shares the frustration of fellow residents and appreciates their inconveniences.
Mr Southgate said: “Both parish councils are frustrated by the way local people are inconvenienced.
“A contraflow system would make the world of difference, however parish councils do not have the power to change these things.”
A Highways England spokesman said the lights are in place where the road becomes too narrow near to the McColl’s shop to reduce the risk of accidents.
They added the lights remain manned throughout the night to ensure that priority will be given to HGVs following the diversion and minimise the noises of engines stopping and starting.
Residents in Felixstowe have also reported HGV drivers becoming confused with existing diversion signs in the town following the closure of the Maidstone Road railway bridge – with some said to be travelling via the smaller Seaton Road rather than High Road West.
The roadworks, which Mr Southgate said has already seen benefits on the A14, are part of a £114m scheme to upgrade roads in the east of England.
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