Stop using Barrow as a rat-run during A14 closures, urges parish council chairman

Barrow Church. Picture: CHRIS BARKER

Barrow Church. Picture: CHRIS BARKER - Credit: Archant

The parish council chairman of a west Suffolk village is imploring people to stop using it as a rat-run following night time closures on the A14.

Graham Judge, chairman of Barrow Cum Denham Parish Council, says he wants motorists to stick to the official diversion route after a series of problems in Barrow following the roadworks closures – which will continue until the new year.

Mr Judge said the amount of HGVs now going through the village is causing disruption for residents and he would have liked to have seen a more “thoughtful and considered” traffic management approach from Highways England.

The major roadworks began on Monday, November 6, and will close the A14 on weeknights between 8pm and 6am until January 19.

An eight-mile stretch of the carriageway between junctions 40 and 43 is being repaired.

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Highways England says it is “strongly encouraging” drivers to stick to the clearly signed diversion route in place overnight.

Mr Judge said: “I think I would have liked to have seen more forward thinking from Highways England and a more thoughtful and considered approach to this.

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“Residents had to come out of their homes last Friday to help HGVs which got stuck and the green at the war memorial was churned up before the Remembrance service.

“I’m no traffic management expert but for me, a contraflow would have been the most sensible option.

I understand people use sat navs and it takes them through Barrow, but I’m appealing to people’s good nature to stick to the official diversion route.”

A spokesman for Highways England said: “The vital work we are doing to resurface the A14 between Kentford and Newmarket will help to keep the road in good condition and is part of a £61.4m package of road renewals and safety work that we are carrying out across the region.

“We strongly encourage drivers to stick to the clearly signed diversion route that is in place overnight.

“It has been carefully chosen as the most suitable route for the type and volume of traffic that usually uses the A14 at night.

“We are in touch with the parish council about what else we might do to discourage people from rat-running through local villages.”

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