Work on A14 blackspot may start in 2007

WORK on a £32million safety scheme to improve one of Suffolk's deadliest stretches of road is expected to start next year.A new section of the A14, running from Haughley New Street to Stowmarket, has been designed to cut the number of accidents along the notorious route.

WORK on a £32million safety scheme to improve one of Suffolk's deadliest stretches of road is expected to start next year.

A new section of the A14, running from Haughley New Street to Stowmarket, has been designed to cut the number of accidents along the notorious route.

Plans for the project are set to go on display next week and, if no serious objections are raised, construction could begin next summer. It is thought it would take about 18 months to complete.

The work would see a new junction introduced, offering safer access to the A14 from the villages of Haughley, Haughley New Street and Harleston. The new road would be built alongside the current route, minimising any disruption to motorists.


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Roger Hawkins, Highways Agency project manager, said last night: "This scheme is much needed and will improve safety on the A14 and reduce accidents. Other features include safe crossing points for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, as well as extensive landscaping to reduce the environmental impact of the scheme."

Jeffrey Bowden, a Haughley parish councillor, welcomed the scheme's progress.

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He said: “I don't think there's anybody who's against it.

“As far as Haughley is concerned it's going to be marvellous. Not only is it going to iron out the bends and make it better for everyone who uses the road, it's also going to take it further away from Haughley.

“Hopefully, it will help reduce the noise Haughley experiences.

”It can't be done soon enough as far as I'm concerned. Hopefully, no one will object to it.”

Bob Feltwell, chief executive of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, believes the scheme will have wider benefits.

He said: “The chamber welcomes anything that will improve the A14 because it's a trunk route of national importance and it needs to be sorted out.

“Businesses in Suffolk need the best infrastructure money can buy to prosper and develop. And a good cross-country route is vital, particularly with the development of the Port of Felixstowe and Bathside Bay.”

Public exhibitions of the plans will be held in Haughley and Stowmarket next week, offering people the chance to raise any issues they may have.

Representatives of the Highways Agency and its contractors, Birse Civils Ltd, Mouchel Parkman and WSP, will be available to answer questions.

The first exhibition will be held on Thursday, January 19 at the Ron Crascall Pavilion, King George's Fields, in Green Lane, Haughley, from noon to 8pm.

The second will take place on Saturday, January 21 at the United Reformed Church, in Ipswich Street, Stowmarket, between 10am and 4pm.

mark.bulstrode@eadt.co.uk

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