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Haughley bends exhibition gets under way

PUBLISHED: 03:27 15 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:17 24 February 2010

VILLAGERS campaigning for a different route to those preferred by the Highways Agency to improve the notorious A14 Haughley bends have been told they may yet win the day.

VILLAGERS campaigning for a different route to those preferred by the Highways Agency to improve the notorious A14 Haughley bends have been told they may yet win the day.

The Highways Agency is currently holding an exhibition to show people the two potential routes they would prefer – at a cost of £18 to £20million – to realign the stretch of road.

The two-day exhibition in Haughley comes as the parish council voices concern that their preferred route has been dropped.

Parish councillors fear having an interchange and fly-over near the village will leave them suffering from light pollution.

The agency wants to realign the A14 to remove the bends and replace existing sub-standard junctions and accesses with a new two-level junction. The agency says the public consultation will help them develop a scheme, which will create a safer road for motorists.

The three routes are as follows:

n The red route, following the line of the existing A14, would see the interchange midway between the Quarries Cross junction and Fishponds Way;

n The blue route, which does not follow the line of the existing A14, would see the interchange built on open land near the Harleston picnic site;

n And the parish council's preferred site which is past the Tot Hill junction and near the turning to Stowmarket itself.

More than 200 people attended the exhibition yesterday and Simon Amor, project manager for the Highways Agency, said: "We have our two preferred routes, but there is a lot of local support for a junction closer to Stowmarket and we acknowledge that and will talk more with local councils to reassess that option.

"We are very open to comments during this consultation period, the whole purpose it to take people's views in to account and we may look at that route again.''

Mr Amor said they would use a special road surface to reduce noise, and lights which angle the beam straight down, rather than across a wider area, to reduce light pollution.

Mike Pirrie, the parish council chairman who attended the exhibition yesterday, said: "This is brilliant news and a step in the right direction. I am very encouraged that they say they will look at it again.''

The route that is finally approved will see work start during 2006 /7 and open during 2008, after a possible public inquiry during 2005.

The plans for the A14 Haughley bends will be on show again today at the Ron Crascall Pavilion in Green Road, Haughley, from 10am to 5pm.

n As part of a separate project the Highways Agency will start work on safety improvements between the Cedars Interchange and the Beacon Hill Interchange on the A14 on Monday. Five central reservation gaps will be closed permanently to stop motorists using them to reach the other side of the trunk road. The work will continue until February 28, during off peak hours, and there will be no weekend work.


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