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Concern over death junction work delays

PUBLISHED: 06:35 13 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:17 24 February 2010

ROAD campaigners have criticised the Highways Agency following delays in introducing promised improvements to a junction which has claimed the lives of two elderly women.

ROAD campaigners have criticised the Highways Agency following delays in introducing promised improvements to a junction which has claimed the lives of two elderly women.

Around £30,000 of improvement work planned for the notorious junction where the A11 meets the C624 Tuddenham road was announced last October, but villagers are still waiting for work to begin.

Christina Bowers, 79, of Beck Row and Betty Upchurch, 73, of Mildenhall, have been killed within the last 14 months as they tried to cross all four lanes of the A11 travelling towards Mildenhall. Now angry campaigners, who collected a 1,200-name petition calling for action, are questioning why progress has not been made.

“This is of great concern to the people in Tuddenham. We are worried we have not been advised when work will commence,” said parish council chairman Rona Burt.

“We have been campaigning for improvements at the crossroads for the last 13 months. I am wondering if the families of the two people who have died there are now asking the same questions of the Highways Agency as the villagers - why is this taking so long?

“It is frustrating, as this is a serious issue.”

Specific improvement plans for the A11 have yet to be publicised, but local people are hoping the junction will be closed and speed restrictions put in place.

“I do think it is very disappointing that we have had this delay,” said West Suffolk MP Richard Spring, who has written to the Highways Agency demanding action.

“There is nothing more annoying when you have been promised a situation will be dealt with and nothing happens.

“It is a very dangerous crossing, and I have had some rather nasty experiences there myself.

“I really do not believe that there should be any further unreasonable delay. This issue is one which I attach a high priority to within my constituency, and I would appreciate a speedy response from the Highways Agency.”

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “We have not yet had a date confirmed for the publication of the draft orders, and we are hoping it will be sometime in the next few weeks.

“When we get that information, we will issue a press notice, and there will be a six week period when the general public can comment or object.”

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