Anger over roadworks delay

RESIDENTS have spoken of their frustration that Highways Agency work to repair one of the most notorious stretches of the A14 has overrun by more than three weeks.

RESIDENTS have spoken of their frustration that Highways Agency work to repair one of the most notorious stretches of the A14 has overrun by more than three weeks.

The Haughley bends, near Stowmarket, have been the scheme of countless accidents and have cost the lives of motorists.

The agency this week announced its preferred route for improving the bends, at a cost of £32 million, a decision greeted with joy by many local campaigners.

But current work in the area has proved less popular, with business complaining that the contraflow system left drivers trapped in one lane and hindered motorists calling in to the garden centre and garage near the bends.


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Now residents are angry that less than two weeks of work has already overrun by 23 days and contractors are not expected to be completed before the weekend.

And in a bizarre twist someone has removed 38 aluminium temporary road signs from a three to four mile stretch of the A14, east and west bound, near the Haughley Bends.

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The signs were worth about £1,000, included 20 road closed signs, six arrows signs and three wait with vehicle signs, and were taken sometime between 4.30pm and 8pm on Tuesday.

Sim Beasley, from Haughley, said: "My fiancée and I, along with all other residents, have had to endure the torturous road works currently in place.

"The claim was 12 nights of delays, then it was unsuitable weather causing a cessation in work. When do we ever get suitable weather?"

But Haughley parish councillor John Prigg said he completely understood that work could not be done during frosts, because the surface would crack.

Mr Prigg said that while work was suspended the contractors lifted temporary road restrictions and no-one was inconvenienced longer than was necessary.

A spokeswoman for the agency said they had kept local people and businesses informed throughout.

She said they contacted businesses before work started, and during the work kept people informed of the progress.

Contractors were unable to start on Friday February 13 because of bad weather and with cold nights it was not possible to resurface.

She said: "We always try and consider the safest, quickest, most efficient way to get the job done.

"The main resurfacing is now finished, it's just patching work, work to one of the lay-bys, tying things up. We hope it will all be completed by the weekend, weather depending.''

n Police are appealing to anyone who was driving along the stretch of road and witnessed any suspicious activity to contact Pc Davis Clarke at Bury St Edmunds Police Station on 01284 774100, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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