‘The traffic is ridiculous!’ - more misery for motorists as another road closes in Suffolk town
PUBLISHED: 07:30 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:30 13 March 2020
Motorists in Bury St Edmunds are having to endure long journeys across the town centre - and some are avoiding the trip completely - due to multiple road closures.
There are tales of drivers leaving their cars outside the centre and walking in and of it taking more than 30 minutes just to leave the multi-storey car park as another key route into the town is blocked off.
As well as planned works that have partially shut Angel Hill to traffic, there is an emergency closure in Tayfen Road due to a gas leak.
MORE: Major roadworks to start in Bury St Edmunds town centre
Bury mum Melissa Chalmers said: 'The traffic is ridiculous! For me to get across town to nursery is chaotic. It's seriously making me go into town less so the shops aren't getting my money!'
And another Bury resident, Kelly Gray, said her husband had tried to get to Swan Surgery in Northgate Street on March 11, but had to leave his car at the Tesco superstore and walk there 'because the traffic was so bad he couldn't get through'.
'He had no choice or he would have missed the doctors,' she said.
On Twitter Ben Lord, chairman of Ixworth Parish Council, complained to highways bosses that there seemed to be 'zero thought or common sense towards forward planning' that has brought the town to a gridlock.
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But Suffolk Highways said in response: 'This is an emergency closure along Tayfen Road due to a gas leak. We are unable to foresee emergency closures however, the works should be completed by end of play tomorrow [March 13].'
MORE: First part of £150k six-week roadworks completed
Mark Cordell, chief executive of the town's Business Improvement District (BID) group, said there had been 'considerable congestion issues' this week, particularly from 4-6pm, due to the combined impact of the Angel Hill works to replace the blocks and the repairing of the gas leak in Tayfen Road.
He said: 'Following on from the bad weather in February and the concerns around the coronavirus this has been another issue that is badly affecting town centre businesses, but hopefully things should get better soon with the Tayfen Road situation resolved this week and the Angel Hill improvements completed by March 27. Please support your local town centre businesses at this challenging time for them.'
Mr Cordell said footfall in the town centre last month was down 16% compared to the same month last year.
He said he was grateful to highways staff that the Angel Hill car park would remain open, but there could be some more confusion next week as access is from Eastgate Street and Northgate Street and not Crown Street.
A spokesman for Cadent, which is carrying out the gas leak repair, said: 'We're currently carrying out essential work to repair a gas escape. This work will help ensure the local community keep on enjoying safe and reliable gas supplies for cooking and heating.
'We're doing all we can to deliver the work as promptly as possible and with minimal disruption. This includes using 'keyhole for roads' technology which enables work to be done faster and with smaller excavations.
'It's currently anticipated that work will be completed on Friday, March 13.'
Suspected gas leaks should be reported on 0800 111 999.