Anger over delays to road scheme

A HEARTBROKEN son fears his mother's death may have been in vain after fresh delays hit plans to close the notorious road junction where she died.Brian Bowers said he was now doubtful work to improve safety on the All at Tuddenham, near Mildenhall, would ever go ahead.

A HEARTBROKEN son fears his mother's death may have been in vain after fresh delays hit plans to close the notorious road junction where she died.

Brian Bowers said he was now doubtful work to improve safety on the All at Tuddenham, near Mildenhall, would ever go ahead.

Around £30,000 of improvements have been earmarked for the site, where Mr Bowers' 79-year-old mother Christina and Betty Upchurch, 73, from Mildenhall, both died within a period of three months.

A new 50mph speed limit and additional signage will be added to the busy roadway, while the junction of the A11 with the C624 and three central reservation gaps will be closed.


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But the work, first scheduled to begin in March, has been hit by delays, and is now due to take place in September for three weeks.

The news has angered the families of those killed at the junction, who say the Highways Agency are simply waiting for another fatality before spending the cash needed for improvements.

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Mr Bowers, whose mother died just weeks before her 80th birthday said: "The Highways Agency seem to be questioning what a life is worth.

"It is so frustrating. These delays are making us angry and sad all rolled into one, and I just hope something is done before somebody else dies at the junction. The damage has been done to us, and we don't want anybody else to go through what we have had to face.

"I cannot believe this has dragged on so long. Nobody wants any more fatalities at the site, and if something were done to prevent any more accidents, then our mum would not have been killed in vain.

"The Highways Agency should remember the people who have lost their lives there, and the husbands, wives and children who have to live on afterwards."

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said the delay had been provoked after the authority received submissions objecting to the plans.

"The dates that were given were provisional, based on receiving no objections to the draft orders," she said.

"However, the Highways Agency had to use its powers to overrule the objections that were received on the grounds of safety, which has taken some time.

"It is now hoped work will start on September 1, but that date is reliant on the contractors, who have to program the work, as well as the time it will take to make the signs."

West Suffolk MP Richard Spring, said: "The problem is the road is very, very busy. Incredible congestion has been surrounding the Fiveways roundabout as the volume of traffic builds in the summer season, with people using the road to travel to Norfolk for their holidays," he said.

"One thing I asked the Highways Agency was to ensure this was sorted out before the summer, and I am extremely disappointed the body has not been successful in doing this.

"I am very upset and disappointed about this. The Highways Agency was quick to recognise there was a problem, and promised to act, but the delays since then have been extraordinary."

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