Suffolk: Why aren’t �70 million signs working yet?

They cost �70 million to install, but they’re still not fully working.

Today, we ask why the electronic overhead signs, positioned along the entire dual carriageway, are still not fully operational despite being installed several months ago.

Motorists have also questioned the purpose of the signs – with many unsure how useful they will prove to be.

The signs will display information to drivers, including warnings of problems ahead and expected journey times.

Highways chiefs say that they will be fully operationally this summer – but no specific date has been given.

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Patrick Wroe, landlord of the Half Moon pub in Felixstowe, added: “There is one sign a few hundred yards from the end of the A14 at Felixstowe.

“What exactly is it going to tell motorists? There isn’t enough road after the sign to have major traffic problems on.

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“The whole scheme seems over the top and for the amount of money spent you would at least expect them to be working by now.”

Last month, the Highways Agency revealed that the signs were being tested after several motorists contacted the Evening Star believing the signs had been switched on.

The signs have previously been branded a waste of money by MPs campaigning for much-needed road improvements in the county.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, who had been pressing the Highways Agency to come up with improvements at the junction of the A12 and A14 at Copdock Mill, described the cost of the project as “absolutely ridiculous”.

He said: “These signs are nowhere near as necessary or as important as making meaningful changes.

“For �70m, we could have a completely redesigned junction at Copdock Mill able to cope with traffic well into the future – and still have money left over.”

A Highways Agency spokesperson said: “The A14 signs are part of a major technology upgrade which will help make journeys on the A14 safer and more reliable by providing relevant, timely information to road users.

“A total of 60 of the 71 signs installed have now been fully tested and are being used to display information to benefit road users.

“The whole scheme, including information about queues, is due to be fully operational this summer.”

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