Traffic lights may replace A12 roundabouts

THREE of Suffolk’s busiest roundabouts could be scrapped if proposals to build 2,000 new homes at BT’s Adastral Park complex are approved.

The three roundabouts on the A12 – those at Tesco, Foxhall and BT – would become traffic light junctions, which traffic consultants say would improve vehicle flows and safety.

However, it could provide a stop-start journey for drivers using the A12.

It would be highly unusual for such a change on a major trunk road but the scheme has been drawn up following analysis of expected traffic patterns on and off the dual carriageway when the new homes and businesses are built.

The work would also include putting traffic lights in place to control traffic at the Seven Hills interchange where the A12 and A14 meet, and which is congested at peak times and when Operation Stack is in place when high winds close the Port of Felixstowe. At the A12-A1214 park and ride roundabout at Martlesham, there are likely to be modifications to the traffic lights to improve vehicle flows but the roundabout will be kept.

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The proposals for the development of Adastral Park – which include 60,000 sq m of extra employment area to create around 2,000 jobs, a health centre, hotel, park, community centre, shops, caf�, pub and takeaway, new primary school and possibly a high school – are currently being assessed by Suffolk Coastal planning officers.

Earlier this year, consultants acting for BT submitted fresh transport assessments and details of travel plans for workers and schoolchildren.

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Consultants Integrated Transport Planning Ltd said the new traffic light junctions would include bus priority routes to encourage people to use public transport. Investigations show changes to the junctions will definitely be needed to avoid queuing and congestion.

“The modelling has shown that even without the development traffic the road network will need improvements to keep the traffic flowing to an acceptable level,” said the consultants.

Suffolk County Council says using traffic lights on roundabouts has cut accidents by 55%.

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