Anger as double road closure in Framlingham sparks ‘havoc’ and gridlocked country lanes
Double road closures are said to have brought “havoc” to a Suffolk town with gridlocked country lanes and missed doctors’ appointments.
Framlingham’s Mount Pleasant and College Road have been closed until Friday, January 19, to allow for sewage connections to Persimmon Homes’ new housing development, shutting off two main routes out of the town.
While official diversions direct drivers to use the B1120 Badingham Road via Dennington, the significant length of the detour has prompted many vehicles, including buses and lorries, to take shorter alternatives along narrow country roads, including Brook Lane and New Street.
Drivers trying to leave the town along these routes have complained of “nightmare” delays, while residents say the roadside verges have become churned up by large vehicles.
Framlingham town clerk, Eileen Coe, said she had received a “huge” number of calls about the closures.
“Every other person coming into the office is complaining about it,” she added.
“We’ve had lots of people being delayed and missed appointments at the doctors surgery.
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“Brook Lane and New Street, which for local people is the shortest route, are absolutely gridlocked.”
Mrs Coe said the council understood the closures were necessary but has called for better signposting to prevent drivers, particularly those in larger vehicles, from taking inappropriate diversions.
“It’s really dangerous, and very frustrating for people,” she added.
Diana Turan, who lives in Market Hill, has questioned why both roads had to be closed at the same time.
“I was trying to take my son to Stowmarket railway station and it was an absolute nightmare,” she added.
“There were cars and lorries in Brook Lane and people were shouting at one another – it was awful.
“I worry what will happen if an ambulance needs to get through.”
Christopher Hudson, one of Framlingham’s district councillors, said he had received several complaints from people living in the town.
“I am worried and concerned over safety issues in the town, particularly at busy times,” he added.
Framlingham Residents Association chairman Christopher Sharpe has called for better planning .
“It’s a similar situation in Woods Lane,” he added. “When permission is granted for these developments, it doesn’t seem that adequate attention is given to the effect on road systems.
“Unless you live in a small town or village, you don’t necessarily know how much disruption a road closure can cause.
“It’s frustrating for the residents because it makes us feel that we don’t matter.”
Paul Cooper, who took an 11 mile diversion to get to the doctors surgery in Framlingham, said it was another example of work being agreed “without considering the effect on local residents.”
“Is the full closure of this road really necessary?”
“Whatever happened to doing the work in stages?”
A Persimmon Homes Suffolk spokesman said: “The works are related to the foul drainage to the new homes development.
“Every effort has been made to minimise inconvenience to local residents, who were informed by letter drop and liaison with local schools and businesses prior to the work commencing. The signage and diversion routes have been approved by the local highway authority.
“The road is expected to be closed for two weeks, followed by approximately one week of traffic control under three-way lights and then approximately 4-5 weeks of two-way lights.”
Have you been affected by the road closures in east Suffolk? Email our Newsroom with your comments.