Carriageway cryptology in Boxford? A comedy end to a frustrating period

Picture of Will Chaytor from CoffeeBox with the road sign. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Picture of Will Chaytor from CoffeeBox with the road sign. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

You could be forgiven for thinking there was some sort of carriageway cryptology going on in Boxford at the moment – with drivers facing messages like ‘S’ and ‘7’ when they arrive in the picturesque Suffolk village.

Picture of Will Chaytor from CoffeeBox with the road sign. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Picture of Will Chaytor from CoffeeBox with the road sign. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

After lengthy cable-laying work, UK Power Networks has caused an ‘L’ of a lot of confusion by only repainting half of each road-marking on the areas its contractors dug up – claiming the rest of the signs lie outside its “permitted area”.

An earlier article referred to ‘S’ being the only letter visible of the word ‘slow’ and it now transpires further down the road is a ‘7’ – which should instead be a triangle warning drivers to give way.

Will Chaytor is the owner of popular nearby café CoffeeBox who said the farcical ending to a long period of roadworks summed up a situation that has frustrated the village for months .

“It’s a bit daft isn’t it, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “It’s a comedy ending to a sorry state of roadworks.

The number '7' that faces drivers in Boxford, as only half of a triangle has been repainted. Picture

The number '7' that faces drivers in Boxford, as only half of a triangle has been repainted. Picture: DAVID LAMMING - Credit: Archant

“It’s like it’s cryptology.”


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UK Power Networks and Suffolk County Council have already been accused by resident David Lamming of a “lack of joined-up thinking” over the mix-up.

Initially the letters ‘SL’ were painted on Sand Hill, but now only the ‘S’ remains.

Adding on from the previous article, both Suffolk County Council and UK Power Networks have stated they did not go back to remove the letter ‘L’ from the road - it has just worn away in less than a month.

Road sign, Sand Hill, Boxford. Picture: DAVID LAMMING

Road sign, Sand Hill, Boxford. Picture: DAVID LAMMING - Credit: cont

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“Contractors working on behalf of UK Power Networks resurfaced part of the road, including the road markings on the new surface,” said a spokeswoman from the energy firm.

“The remainder of the road markings, ie the remainder of the word ‘SLOW’, were outside the area we were permitted to remedy by the county council.”

Further down the road drivers are then faced with the number ‘7’ where part of the original marking was dug up.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman indicated they would have expected the energy company to complete the repainting work while they were there and certainly would not have been penalised for using common sense to repaint the entirety of a road marking.

Picture of Will Chaytor from CoffeeBox with the road sign. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Picture of Will Chaytor from CoffeeBox with the road sign. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

“Regardless of whether we get UK Power Networks to go back and correct that defect, or do it ourselves, we will look to get that sorted,” he said.

The confusion comes after UK Power Networks laid down electrical cabling to a new housing development in September last year and needed to dig up sections of road.

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