Campaigners welcome new cycle lanes
By Liz HearnshawSAFETY campaigners have welcomed measures to improve a notorious stretch of road for pedestrians and cyclists – but have urged highways bosses to complete the project.
By Liz Hearnshaw
SAFETY campaigners have welcomed measures to improve a notorious stretch of road for pedestrians and cyclists – but have urged highways bosses to complete the project.
Workmen have already begun implementing the scheme, on the A11 at Tuddenham, near Mildenhall, at a spot where two elderly drivers were killed.
It is hoped the improvements will make crossing all four lanes of the busy dual carriageway easier and safer for people on foot or cycles.
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Earlier in the autumn the Highways Agency undertook a £30,000 scheme to close the dangerous C624 Tuddenham junction to traffic, pleasing campaigners who had fought for the change since the deaths of 79-year old Christina Bowers and Betty Upchurch, 73, about two years ago.
But the work has provoked a strong reaction from residents, who claimed drivers were ignoring the new, lower speed limit and cones and debris remained at the site, littering the A11 for weeks after the project was due to end.
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They have now urged the Highways Agency to ensure the cycle route is completed properly, resulting in an overall scheme that will make the road safer for all users.
Rona Burt, who represents the Iceni ward on Forest Heath District Council, said: "I feel that the crossing does need to have some provision for cyclists and this is a good idea.
"If the existing cycle track was taken away, people would be forced to travel quite a distance along the A11 before they could cross, so this is quite important."
The improvements include the conversion of an existing pedestrian route into a combined footway and cyclepath, crossing the busy A11 at the C624 Tuddenham junction.
New signs illustrating the change will also be installed, while footpaths will be resurfaced and safety fencing introduced.
Ranjit Mistry, project manager for the Highways Agency, said: "The Highways Agency is committed to providing safer routes for cyclists and pedestrians wherever possible along its roads.
"Now that the safety improvements have been carried out between Chalk Hill and Barton Mills, we are keen to provide this Lark Valley footway crossing so that cyclists and pedestrians have a better route across the A11 trunk road."
The work, which began on Thursday, is expected to take three weeks. Lanes of the dual carriageway between the C614 Newmarket Road and the Fiveways Roundabout will be closed daily for the duration of the project.