Crossroads scheme gathers pace

A LONG-awaited £10million scheme to improve safety along a notorious stretch of the A14 has taken a step forward, with work beginning on a new pedestrian underpass.

A LONG-awaited £10million scheme to improve safety along a notorious stretch of the A14 has taken a step forward, with work beginning on a new pedestrian underpass.

The development at the Rookery Crossroads at Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, means the eastbound carriageway will be closed from tomorrow and vehicles transferred along a temporary route alongside the existing road.

Despite the upheaval, highways bosses say Christmas and rush hour traffic will not be delayed by the works, which have been prompted after 18 people were killed or seriously hurt in smashes on the roadway over the past six years.

“Through traffic should not be adversely affected by the changes to the traffic management,” said a spokesman for the Highways Agency.


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“During peak hours on weekdays, two lanes of the A14 will remain open in both directions between the Moreton Hall junction and Home Farm.

“There will be narrow lanes on this section of the road and a 40mph speed restriction will be in place, with safety cameras.

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“During off peak hours, when traffic flows are lightest, the road will be reduced to one lane to allow additional work to be carried out.

“There will also be occasional overnight and weekend lane closures, but there will be no lane closures over the Christmas period.”

The right turn from the eastbound carriageway into Blackthorpe and Rougham will be closed from tomorrow, with diversions put in place to help drivers navigate alternative routes.

This will remain in place while contractors construct the underpass at Two Mile Spinney, for use by pedestrians, cyclists and horses.

Once complete, the existing Rookery Crossroads will be replaced with a new two-level junction carrying the A14 over Sow Lane.

The central reservation gap crossing taking traffic into Rougham will be closed, while around one mile of the existing A14 will be straightened as part of the scheme.

The start of work has been welcomed by campaigners who have fought for improvements for years.

Sara Mildmay-White, St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor for Rougham, said: “It is like dicing with death every day of our lives trying to cross that road and the whole village and everyone in the Bury area is looking forward to having a safer crossing.”

The scheme should be complete by next Christmas.

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