Traffic chaos hits the A14 yet again

By Danielle NuttallRUSH-HOUR traffic was plunged into chaos last night after another lorry jack-knifed on one of East Anglia's busiest routes - for the second time in a week.

By Danielle Nuttall

RUSH-HOUR traffic was plunged into chaos last night after another lorry jack-knifed on one of East Anglia's busiest routes - for the second time in a week.

Motorists faced delays of more than an hour as a result of the accident, which happened on the eastbound carriageway of the A14, just before the Orwell Bridge, near Ipswich.

The incident happened shortly before 3.30pm yesterday when the lorry, which was coming off a slip-road, was involved in a collision with a 4x4 vehicle.

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Police were forced to close both the outside lane of the eastbound and westbound carriageways of the A14 to enable recovery vehicles to clear the scene, leading to miles of tailbacks in both directions.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “Both outside lanes were closed and the inside lanes were heavy with traffic. It really was slow in both directions.”

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Both lanes were reopened by 7.30pm and no-one is believed to have suffered any serious injuries in the accident.

Just a week ago part of the A14 had to be closed after several lorries jack-knifed in severe snow, causing widespread disruption to commuters and Felixstowe Port-bound traffic.

The road has been closed four times in little over a month due to various accidents, with police left with no alternative but to divert traffic through Ipswich.

Although traffic could still pass across the road after the latest incident, many commuters decided to divert through Ipswich, leading to congestion.

Business leaders have called on councillors to reconsider 10-year-old proposals for a northern bypass in Ipswich, which would run from Martlesham through to the A140/A14 Beacon Hill junction.

The scheme, which was abandoned a decade ago, would divert traffic away from Ipswich and ease congestion on the busy A14.

One of its supporters is Bob Feltwell, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, who said traffic chaos would not stop until this option was taken.

Consultants in the 1990s agreed a northern bypass would be the most effective means of removing traffic from Ipswich and would speed traffic travelling from west to north-east Suffolk, but the Government could not guarantee funding of the project and it was removed from the planning blueprint.

n Suffolk County Council leader Bryony Rudkin and Suffolk West MP Richard Spring will join a delegation from Norfolk today to press the transport minister for better transport links for the region.

In November the Department for Transport removed dualling plans for the A11 and A47 from their programme and the delegation is meeting transport minister David Jamieson to get these roads reinstated.

Ms Rudkin said: “Good roads are vital for a good economy. Dualling the A11 from Fiveways to Thetford would substantially improve the quality of life of those communities currently living along the trunk road.

“Better road infrastructure can play a major part in regeneration and will have an significant impact on this county.”

The proposed A11 Fiveways to Thetford road would run partly through Suffolk and would have a particular impact on Elveden and improve the existing poor accident record on this stretch of road.

It would also reduce traffic congestion on the existing road, which would benefit local as well as regional businesses and have a positive impact on tourism.

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