Work starts on notorious road junction

By Patrick LowmanTHE son of an elderly woman who was killed on a notorious stretch of road has said a £30,000 safety improvement scheme has come far too late.

By Patrick Lowman

THE son of an elderly woman who was killed on a notorious stretch of road has said a £30,000 safety improvement scheme has come far too late.

The Highways Agency started work this week on a long-awaited improvement scheme on the A11 at Tuddenham, where two pensioners were killed in road accidents in the space of three months.

The work, which will take three weeks to complete, will see a 50mph speed limit introduced and the central reservation gap opposite the A11/C6245 junction closed.

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It was originally due to begin in March, but was held up by objections to the proposed changes.

In December 2001, Christina Bowers, 79, of Shrubhouse Close, Beck Row, was killed following a crash on the road.

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Just weeks later, Betty Upchurch, 73, of Mildenhall, was killed following another serious road accident there.

Mrs Bowers' son, Brian, said he was happy work at the junction had finally started, but felt it should have happened much sooner.

“Thank goodness the work has finally started. I just hope and pray this stops anyone else being killed in the same way my mother was. Although I am happy the work has finally started it has come far, far too late,” he added.

“Since my mother was killed there have been a number of near-misses and it should have been treated with much more urgency.

“The real point is that the work should have been carried out before my mother or Mrs Upchurch were killed.

“Local residents had been calling for action after a number of near-misses at the junction and they should have been listened to.

“This has come too late for us, but let's just hope lessons have been learned and that people are listened to in the future.”

Other work includes implementing a U-turn restriction on the A11/C614 Newmarket Road junction and the A11/C576 Newmarket Road junction at Barton Mills.

A no-entry restriction will also be applied to the central reservation gap opposite the A11/C623 Herringswell Road junction.

Project manager Ranjit Mistry said: “These much-needed safety improvements should reduce the number of accidents on this stretch of A11.

“Once work is finished, we will continue to monitor the traffic flows between Chalk Hill and Barton Mills to see if any further improvements are necessary.”

Meanwhile, draft details for a multi-million-pound improvement scheme on one of the region's worst stretches of road will be published next month.

The notorious Rookery Crossroads on the A14 at Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, has been the scene of 69 accidents in the past five years, leaving 18 people either seriously or fatally injured.

The Highways Agency has announced a £5.5million improvement scheme would start in the spring. Once the draft orders, which will give basic details of the scheme, are published next month, the work will be put out for tender.

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