'It's a total shambles' - Anger over clashing Ipswich roadworks
PUBLISHED: 17:01 16 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:55 16 May 2019
Fed-up commuters have expressed their frustration at a series of roadworks projects sparking hold-ups across Ipswich.
Pothole repairs are under way on the old A12 (London Road) this week, emergency gas works in Belstead Road at the Oak Hill Lane junction are set to last until Monday and an upcoming revamp to the Westerfield level crossing will see a major route shut from Friday, May 24.
Wherstead Road is also due to be closed to traffic overnight until Saturday with carriageway resurfacing taking place between 7pm to 5am, and planned Anglian Water works in Grafton Way are set to continue until June 4.
Drivers found themselves stuck in heavy traffic across south west Ipswich during rush hour this morning as two main routes - the old A12 and Belstead Road - were blocked to motorists.
"I live in Oak Hill Lane and it is a total shambles," said Samantha McNally.
"No work has been done for days, just total inconvenience and a huge hole in the road."
Cadent Gas engineers are carrying out the work in Belstead Road and a diversion route is in place via Ellenbrook Road, Belmont Road, Shepherd Drive, Scrivener Drive, London Road, Ranelagh Road and Stoke Street - a 5-mile route that takes around 16 minutes in normal traffic.
The emergency repairs are essential, bosses said, to ensure the company continues to provide the safest and most reliable service to its customers.
However, while the work is taking place - and a 24-hour closure is in place on the old A12 - more people are using the northbound A12 and A1214 to get into Ipswich, creating congestion at rush hour.
This has led to motorists criticising the number of clashing roadworks on major routes into Ipswich, with one claiming: "It's absolute carnage".
Another man, who did not want to be named, criticised confusing signs at the Belstead Road junction.
Businesses also spoke out about the pothole repairs in London Road earlier this week, claiming the project has "crippled their takings".
A Suffolk Highways spokesman said: "Care is taken to avoid clashes of works on main routes by coordinating dates and times, but this is not always possible.
"This is a busy time of year due to the amount of Suffolk Highways resurfacing works happening and utility companies maintaining underground water, gas and electric services, however we work to lower the impact these works have, for example on Wherstead Road, we're carrying out the works here at night when there are fewer cars on the road.
"We apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused by these works, but we hope road users will enjoy the newly surfaced roads once they're reopened."
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