Locals threaten to block road after Saxham Street works make it a rat run

Andrew Stringer and Diversion works at Saxham Street

Diversion works caused by a sewer collapse on Saxham Street has led to Gipping Road and Back Lane being used as a cut-through. - Credit: Andrew Stringer / Archant

Neighbours in a lane near Stowmarket are threatening a blockade as drivers use it instead of a nearby diversion.

Drivers are using the narrow road as a cut-through rather than taking a nine-mile diversion onto the A140 which has been put in place for several weeks while Anglian Water carries out works on a collapsed sewer in Saxham Street.

Bosses at Anglian Water, which is carrying out the work causing the inadvertent cut-through, urged people to follow the signposted diversion.

Rather than take the lengthy diversion, people have been using Gipping Road and Back Lane, as a cut-through to get between Stowupland and Mendlesham.

Frustrated locals have now threatened to block the road as they say the extra traffic is damaging the verges and causing confrontations between neighbours and drivers. 

Verge damage on Gipping Road

Verge damage that locals believe has been caused by motorists using Gipping Lane and Back Lane Gipping as a cut through. - Credit: Andrew Stringer

Damage seemingly caused by cars and other vehicles using Gipping Road as a cut through.

Damage locals believe is caused by cars and other vehicles using Gipping Road as a cut through. - Credit: Andrew Stringer

But one resident, who this newspaper has agreed not to name, said: “It’s horrendous. It’s like living on a motorway."

The resident said in one case they found someone urinating in their garden due to standstill traffic.

"He’d parked on our driveway and gone into our garden to go to the toilet," they said.

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The resident added that at some points during the day they "can't get out" of their drive, and ambulances have struggled to navigate through the traffic.

Suffolk County Councillor, Andrew Stringer, said: "The situation that has arisen in Back Lane Gipping is intolerable, a temporary one way system in a neighbouring village coupled with an emergency road closure has left drivers with little choice but to use Back Lane Gipping as their shortest route. 

Cllr Andrew Stringer

Cllr Andrew Stringer - Credit: Archant

"What is required is some action to help resolve it, either a temporary one-way system in Back Lane, or even potentially closing it to all but local access, the situation has become so acute. 

"Some local residents have even suggested direct action to help stem the tide of unsuitable traffic in this normally quiet and beautiful part of Suffolk."

An Anglian Water spokesman said the utility company had received no reports of property damage as a result. He said: "The diversion is in place to keep people safe while we complete the necessary work – we would ask that people please follow it.

"We’d like to thank everyone for their patience while we carry out this emergency work."