A14 Stowmarket road works diversion angers villages

Villagers in Suffolk claim their streets will become rat-runs when road works begin on the A14 in October.

Elmswell Parish Council claims drivers will inevitably use villages to avoid a 45-mile diversion.

The Highways Agency is closing the westbound carriageway between Stowmarket and Woolpit at night for three weeks.

Signs will send non-local traffic up the A140 to Diss and then along the A143 to Bury St Edmunds.

The closure and diversion will be between 19:00 BST and 06:00 BST.

Contraflow dispute

Peter Dow, clerk to Elmswell Parish Council, said: "They will ignore the diversion and continue along the A14 to Tot Hill and then go through Haughley New Street, Wetherden and Elmswell to the A1088 roundabout creating mayhem.

"We know that the traffic on the A14 doesn't stop day or night and, when it's three feet from our doors and windows at night, we're going to be extremely aware of it.

"All they have to do is contraflow the A14 carriageway and keep the trunk road open."

Mike Evans from the Highways Agency said: "We recognise the concerns of local people, but we have to do this work before winter to repair the carriageway, which is deteriorating.

"I recognise that this is quite a long diversion, but unfortunately there are no other routes that we could use.

"We have looked at contraflow on the eastbound carriageway or single-lane working [on the westbound carriageway], but all these methods take longer and cost a lot more."

The Highways Agency said it would instruct long-distance lorries from Felixstowe to use the A120 in Essex and then the M11 back up to the A14 at Cambridge.

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