Call for support for A14 campaign
By John HowardPARISH councillors have called for the public's support in their campaign to improve safety at the notorious Haughley Bends on the A14.
By John Howard
PARISH councillors have called for the public's support in their campaign to improve safety at the notorious Haughley Bends on the A14.
Haughley parish councillors have arranged a public meeting after the Highways Agency unveiled two potential schemes to realign, at a cost of between £18 million and £20m, the stretch of road which has seen numerous accidents.
It wants to realign the A14 to remove the notorious bends and replace existing junctions and accesses with a new two-level junction.
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The routes are:
n a blue route, which does not follow the line of the existing A14 and would see the interchange built on open land near the Harleston picnic site
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n a red route, which follows the line of the existing A14 and would see the interchange midway between the Quarries Cross junction and Fishponds Way.
But the parish council has voiced concerns its preferred route, which would see the interchange built past the Tot Hill junction and near the turning to Stowmarket, has been dropped.
Haughley Parish Council chairman Mike Pirrie said it had put a flyer in the parish magazine, distributed to 1,000 homes in Haughley and neighbouring Wetherden, calling the public meeting, when councillors will explain why they want the alternative route.
Mr Pirrie, who said they have also invited parish councillors and villagers from Onehouse and Great Finborough to the meeting, added: “I am sure we can win the day on this. You only build this once, we have got to get it right.
“People keep talking about this in the village. Public opinion is definitely behind this, you won't find anyone apathetic once we have finished.
“We are prepared, as a parish council, to take this to appeal through a public inquiry, if need be, and will raise the funds to do this. We are absolutely determined about this.''
A spokeswoman for the Highways Agency said it was keen to hear what people thought and added the public consultation would continue until May 12.
“At the moment the Highways Agency has two alternatives and we are keen to know what people think, whether they want either of these routes, or to hear their comments and views on some other alternative. They agency will then consider this before deciding on a route,” she said.
Any public inquiry would be held during 2005, work on the chosen route would start during 2006/7 and it would open during 2008.
n The public meeting will be held at the village hall in Haughley on March 12, from 7.30pm.