Road campaigners celebrate

CAMPAIGNERS for improvements on a notorious junction where two pensioners died within a three-month period are celebrating after a start date for work was announced.

CAMPAIGNERS for improvements on a notorious junction where two pensioners died within a three-month period are celebrating after a start date for work was announced.

Nearly a year after the plans were first unveiled, £30,000 improvement measures for the A11 at Tuddenham, near Mildenhall, will start next month the Highways Agency said.

The announcement was welcomed by Brian Bowers, whose mother Christina was killed at the junction weeks before her 80th birthday.

He said: "This has been a long time coming, and I am just thankful no-one else has been killed there while we have been waiting for work to start.

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"I am hopeful this time the project will go ahead, as the Highways Agency cannot keep delaying this forever.

"There has been so much pressure put upon them for work to start that I think they now have no other option. Obviously preventing any more fatalities is the most important thing."

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Mrs Bowers, of Beck Row, and Betty Upchurch,73, of Mildenhall were both killed at the site while they tried to cross all four lanes of the busy A11.

A 1,200-name petition was collected by campaigners desperate for action and concerned about the long delays.

Rona Burt, chairman of Tuddenham Parish Council, said: "After such a long delay, it is nice for things to finally go ahead. It is about 20 months after the first accident and I am sure it is a big relief for the children of the two ladies."

The Highways Agency has now announced detailed plans for improvements on the A11 trunk road between Chalk Hill and Barton Mills.

The work will start on September 1 to close the central reserve gap opposite the A11/C624 junction at Tuddenham Road and put in place a 50mph speed restriction on about 1,200 yards of the road.

Highways Agency project manager Ranjit Mistry said: "These much needed safety improvements, together with work already carried out, should reduce the number of accidents on this stretch of the A11.

"Once the work is finished, we will continue to monitor the traffic flows between Chalk Hill and Barton Mills to see if any further improvements are necessary."

Pedestrians and cyclists will also be accommodated in the remedial work with improvements made to the Lark Valley footway crossing.

The improvement package was first announced in October but the project has since been hit by a string of delays, prompting campaigners to fear action would never be taken.

Work was originally due to being in late March, but objections to the plans prompted delays and raised fears another accident would happen before the improvements were made.

Restrictions have been put in place until the work is completed in about three weeks.

U-turn restrictions will be implemented at the central reserve gaps opposite the A11/C614 Newmarket Road junction and the A11/C576 Newmarket Road junction in Barton Mills.

A no-entry restriction will also be applied to the central reserve gap opposite the A11/C623 Herringswell Road junction.

The safety improvement works will be carried out between 9.30am and 3.30pm weekdays and 8pm to 6am on Monday to Saturdays and the Highways Agency are warning motorists to adhere to the 50mph speed limit to ensure the safety of the road workers.

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