Villagers fear extra traffic on road

PARISHES along the A137 Ipswich to Manningtree road have raised concerns about the likely increase in traffic when the railway line is closed for work on the tunnel outside Ipswich station.

PARISHES along the A137 Ipswich to Manningtree road have raised concerns about the likely increase in traffic when the railway line is closed for work on the tunnel outside Ipswich station.

The work to enlarge the tunnel is expected to take place in the summer of 2004.

Jim King, chairman of Brantham Parish Council, said they had been told by a consultant representing the Strategic Rail Authority that there could be up to 25 buses an hour at peak time ferrying commuters from Ipswich station to Manningtree.

He said they had also been told that a temporary car park was also being created on the Brantham side of Manningtree station and the council expected that many commuters would drive there rather than take the bus.


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This would add to the volume of traffic on a road that passed straight through the centre of the village and was already overburdened at peak times.

The parish council has written to Suffolk's highways department asking whether permanent roundabouts could be installed at junctions onto the A137 at Sough Road, Birch Drive and Palfrey Heights or if not at least temporary traffic lights could be supplied for the duration of the work.

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Mr King said: "It's busy enough normally and difficult to get out onto the A137 at peak times. It's even worse if there's an incident on the A12, when traffic switches onto the A137.

"Roundabouts are something we've felt were needed for some time."

County council engineer Keith Bridges said: "We are aware of local people's concerns about the impact of the closure next year.

"We will be working hard with other organisations, such as the Strategic Rail Authority and Essex County Council, to minimise disruption.

"We will take full consideration of the concerns raised by Brantham Parish Council."

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