Weekend warning for A12 users

POLICE are warning drivers to avoid the A12 south of Saxmundham this coming weekend as the first of three or four weekend closures for essential works brought bottlenecks and delays.

POLICE are warning drivers to avoid the A12 south of Saxmundham this coming weekend as the first of three or four weekend closures for essential works brought bottlenecks and delays.

Suffolk County Council is laying a new road surface along the A12 at Farnham and Stratford St Andrew over three, or possibly four, weekends. The road will be re-opened on weekdays.

Diversions were put in place at the weekend, with traffic directed off the A12 at Woodbridge and re-routed via the A1152 through Melton and Eyke and the B1069 at Bentwaters and Tunstall, joining the A1094 at Snape and on to Benhall to rejoin the A12.

Access was maintained for residents, businesses and emergency vehicles.

Suffolk Constabulary's Operations Room Supervisor Alex Webb said traffic had been heavy along the route during the first weekend of works.

"There have been bottlenecks, particularly on some of the small roads, but it's moving about slowly.

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"Certainly, for the future closures, people should avoid using the A12," she said.

"We are putting it out obviously on our traffic updates for people to avoid the area."

Whenever the A12 closed it caused problems, because the infrastructure around it could not cope, she said.

But she added: "The roadworks have got to be done."

The works have been planned over the weekends of September 11 and 12, September 18 and 19 and October 2 and 3 to try and minimise disruption. A further road closure may be necessary over the weekend of October 9 and 10 if bad weather causes delays.

Judith Spatchett, chairman of Farnham Parish Council, said having the road free of heavy traffic over the weekend had been "wonderful".

Villagers at Farnham and Stratford St Andrew are hoping for a long-awaited bypass to take traffic away from their villages as well as Marlesford and Little Glemham.

Residents are frequently frustrated during peak hours at the difficulties they face getting out of driveways and side roads onto the busy A12, and the works gave them a welcome respite.

"Last night was wonderful. They weren't letting the traffic down and I thought it was wonderful," she said. "You can get out either way."

Mrs Spatchett added that the road workers had done well and she was not aware of residents experiencing any problems.

She hoped villagers living along the diversion routes would see the volume of traffic they had to cope with and support them in their bid for a bypass.

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