Woodbridge: A12 death gap could be sealed for good

ROADS chiefs have announced the temporary closure of a central reservation gap used by drivers to cross a carriageway of the A12.

The provisional measure could be made permanent just north of the Martlesham bypass in a short section of dual carriageway, opposite the junction for the Seckford Hall Hotel and golf club in Woodbridge.

News of the closure comes following three road deaths in recent years - the most recent of which came on February 19 and involved David Simmons, of Kirton, who yesterday admitted causing the death of motorcyclist Andrew Henderson by careless driving.

In December 2008, two people died as a result of a collision between a Ford Fiesta and a Mitsubishi Shogun on the same stretch of road.

Suffolk County Council, working with Suffolk police, has decided to close the central reservation gap for at least three months - during which time traffic will be monitored. Consultation will the take place on whether the gap should be permanently closed.

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Highways officers will be putting up signs to create short detours for drivers affected by the gap closure, including staff and customers of Seckford Hall Hotel, which said it welcomed the move. Operations director Mark Suddes said: “Obviously, from the perspective of our staff and customers, we welcome anything that might improve the safety of what is a difficult junction to manoeuvre.

“We support the closure as long as sufficient signage is put in place to notify drivers of the detour.”

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Traffic leaving the hotel or golf club heading south will instead be diverted less than a mile north to the Wyevale roundabout and back down the southbound carriageway.

A footway will remain in the central reservation for pedestrians and cyclists wanting to cross the A12.

Police are keen to see the gap blocked and have strongly pushed for a permanent closure.

The temporary closure of the gap will involve positioning a concrete barrier across the opening, with a set of cones and diversion signs.

The temporary closure begins on Monday, September 10, and is controlled by a temporary traffic regulation order, to prevent movements through the gap, and a no U-turn order just north of the gap to prevent drivers making an unsafe manoeuvre.

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