Villagers' A14 anger

TRANSPORT managers have apologised to residents who are facing 15-mile journeys to local shops because of £32million work being carried out to improve a major road.

John Howard

TRANSPORT managers have apologised to residents who are facing 15-mile journeys to local shops because of £32million work being carried out to improve a major road.

The project aims to make the A14 safer by building a new 2.3-mile dual carriageway between Haughley New Street and Stowmarket on a notorious stretch of road.

But villagers are dismayed that smaller road closures to accommodate the work have left them facing delays, and claim the diversions are confusing, leading to HGV drivers ending up in villages.


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Daphne Smith, from Moorbridge Lane, Harleston, near Stowmarket, said: “On April 14 the county council issued a public notice to close Haughley Road.

“This is the vital link for the villagers of Harleston to access the nearest local shops in Haughley, and it is also the link onto the A14 for a number of local villages. The notice and signs said closure for eight weeks.

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“At the end of the seventh week the signs were changed to 'closed for 21 weeks'. The official diversion route takes Harleston and Onehouse traffic onto the A14 at Chilton, Stowmarket. Now however this official diversion route has also been closed for A14 works.

“My one mile trip to support the local shops in Haughley is now a minimum 15 mile round trip.”

But a spokesman for Suffolk County Council said all the closures were needed for safety reasons.

“We have had to extend the period of the existing road closure on the Harleston to Haughley road and a fresh closure on the slip-on road from Stowmarket on to the westbound carriageway has been put in place in order to construct the tie-in between the new carriageway and the existing one.

“The sliproad is the responsibility of the Highways Agency. Unfortunately this has resulted in a long diversion through Stowmarket to access the A14 near the Tesco supermarket. This will be in place for a further eight to ten weeks and we regret the delays and inconvenience this may cause to local residents.”

A Highways Agency spokeswoman added the extended closure of Haughley Road was “in the interests of safety.”

She added the overall scheme was progressing well and due to be completed by December.

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