A14 set for 24 WEEKS of overnight closures
PUBLISHED: 10:36 08 August 2020
Some east Suffolk residents have been given less than a week’s notice as Highways England announced 24 weeks of overnight closures on the A14.
As part of the scheme, sections of the road between Seven Hills and Felixstowe will be subject to overnight closures every weekday from 8pm until 4am, running from Monday, August 10 until January 29. Safety barriers will be upgraded, while new signs will be introduced alongside replacement road markings and road studs.
But some local residents did not receive any notification of the roadworks until Friday morning, August 7, and are concerned over the amount of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) which will be diverted through local villages.
Notices for the works had been available on parish council websites.
One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “To be given just three days notice of this major disruption and upheaval to our lives, planned by Highways England for months and months, is nothing short of a scandal.
“For thousands of people in Trimley St Martin, Trimley St Mary, Walton and Felixstowe the only time they get peace on the ultra-busy High Road is at night.
“Twenty four weeks of container lorries thundering through the villages, where in places historic houses are just a few feet from the road, will ruin sleep for so many. One accident would block the road and Felixstowe would, effectively be cut off if there was a major emergency needing a multi-agency response.”
Both Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary parish councils have been working with Highways England to reduce the amount of time lorries will be on their roads, with Trimley St Mary Parish Council chairman David Southgate saying their intervention has seen the timeframe reduced.
Residents in High Road in Trimley St Martin however will still endure 13 consecutive weeks of disturbances.
Mr Southgate said: “We have done our best to reduce the impact of these closures, but still every heavy vehicle that drives over a manhole cover is going to echo like a drum.
“What we would have preferred is a contraflow system, but unfortunately Highways England say the carriageway is not wide enough to safely allow this.”
Phase one of the multi-million pound project will begin Monday evening, and see the westbound carriageway closed between junctions 60 and 59 for 10 days.
A Highways England spokeswoman said the authority is continuing to write to local residents.
She added: “Throughout the 24 weeks of work we’ll be working closely with The Port of Felixstowe and will adjust the times of our road closures according to peak traffic travelling to and from the port, which will reduce the amount of HGVs using our diversion routes.”
A full list of closures is available here.