Anger mounts over roundabout lights

COPDOCK: Two Suffolk MPs have demanded that the Highways Agency abandons proposals to install more traffic lights at Copdock Mill roundabout on the edge of Ipswich.

Both South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo and Ipswich’s Ben Gummer fear that fitting more lights to the junction will slow down traffic even more at the notorious junction – and lead to more rat-running by frustrated motorists.

The Highways Agency has been given money by the Port of Felixstowe to improve the junction for when the port is expanded. But they want the agency to hang on to the money until they have enough cash to complete major improvements to the junction.

Ipswich MP Mr Gummer is concerned that slowing down traffic at the junction will lead to more cars using estate roads in Chantry and Stoke Park to avoid Copdock Mill.

He said: “I just don’t know how they came up with this idea. It seems as if they have some money and want to spend it whatever the cost – it will cause all kinds of problems there.”

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Mr Yeo also feared traffic would cut through villages in his constituency.

He said: “It seems a crazy idea. We are not asking for anything major immediately – we want the agency to hang on to the money until they can get further funding to do a proper job on the junction and improve the traffic flow, not slow it down.”

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They have written a strongly-worded letter to the Highways Agency saying: “It is quite clear to anyone who uses the Copdock Interchange that your proposals will cause very significant traffic congestion on roads which already have queues at peak times.

“As a result, people will be delayed and drivers will seek alternative routes, causing congestion elsewhere in Ipswich and in nearby villages.

“For these reasons, as well as the inappropriate use of money, this scheme is completely unacceptable.”

Their views echo the concerns of Suffolk County Council transport spokesman Guy McGregor who has already told the agency that the proposed lights would be a disaster for the area.

A Highways Agency spokesman confirmed that the agency had received a joint letter from the MPs and would reply in due course.

He repeated that traffic lights were an important part of traffic management particularly at busy roundabouts.

He said: “The lights at the Copdock Interchange would form a key role in helping the ever increasing volumes of traffic to keep moving through this busy interchange. The agency is currently in discussion with Suffolk County Council about the final format of changes to the A14/A12 Copdock Interchange and will listen to all comments from interested parties.”

n Should more lights be installed at Copdock? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstar

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