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Roadworks nightmare in Sudbury

TRAFFIC PROBLEMS, closed roads and diversions in Sudbury Town centre.''Picture Mark Westley ANL-160816-164026009
TRAFFIC PROBLEMS, closed roads and diversions in Sudbury Town centre.''Picture Mark Westley ANL-160816-164026009

There has been anger after Sudbury was left gridlocked as roadworks, both planned and emergency, brought confusion and disruption to the town’s roads.

With Waldingfield Road partially closed due to gas works and Friars Street closed for electrical works, there have been numerous diversion signs throughout the town, with confusion for drivers.

On Monday morning one Dutch lorry driver found himself stuck down Friars Street when he reached the closure, colliding with a building as he tried to turn around, his lorry eventually breaking down.

On Thursday night and into Friday morning the traffic situation worsened when a burst water main meant the road was closed at the junction of Gainsborough Road and Melford Road for repairs.

One woman said it took her an hour to get to Cavendish from Sudbury last Friday morning, having to head out into the villages in North Essex, with little information on where to go.

Sudbury town councillor Jan Osborne wrote to James Finch, cabinet member for highways and transport at Suffolk County Council.

She wrote: “I am receiving many complaints from people in Sudbury, as well as experiencing it myself, about the works being undertaken on some of the roads in Sudbury and the serious problems with congestion that this is causing.

“I do fully appreciate that this work has to be done but there appears to be no thought in the preparation. As Suffolk County Council are responsible for giving permission to close off roads should they not be co-ordinating this between the utilities to ensure that only one set of work is being undertaken at any one time?

“In addition to this, work has been allowed to be done at the peak of the tourist season which is not a sensible decision.”

Suffolk County Council said work during the holidays was often preferable and said it was important that the vital works were carried out.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “We work with utilities to offer guidance on work schedules for planned works however the nature of emergency works does mean additional disruption can happen from time to time.

“Works diversions have to be planned to offer HGVs and other types of large vehicle safe movement around and through the area.

“If people are aware of alternative routes that are safe to access and avoid the works, they have the opportunity to use them.

“The frustration of local residents is understandable at the moment, the urgency of these works is driven by the utilities who need to keep local communities connected with power and water services.”

In Waldingfield Road work is underway on a gas mains upgrade in Sudbury.

In a six-week project National Grid will be renewing gas mains in a section of Waldingfield Road. Work started July 21 and is due to be completed by the beginning of September.

From Saturday two-way temporary traffic lights between 65 Waldingfield Road and the junction of Lansdowne Road will be in place again.

National Grid authorising engineer Vince Doggett said: “We appreciate that this is a main road in Sudbury and we will make every effort to minimise any inconvenience caused by our work.

“We have planned this project during the school summer holidays to reduce the impact on traffic. We would like to thank people for their patience and co-operation.”

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