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Road ‘disintegration’ fiasco shows Suffolk’s A14 is ‘not fit for purpose’

PUBLISHED: 20:55 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 20:55 12 February 2018

The A14 near Bury St Edmunds is crumbling away and has been described as

The A14 near Bury St Edmunds is crumbling away and has been described as "not fit for purpose". Picture: GREGG BROWN

The dangerous “disintegration” of a major Suffolk road has prompted renewed calls for highways improvements to support the county’s economy.

Drivers travelling along the A14 near Bury St Edmunds on Saturday said they faced “large lumps” of tarmac strewn across the carriageway making for treacherous conditions near to junction 43, the exit for Tesco.

Suffolk police received calls from motorists and called for urgent repairs to be carried out to the road, which was said to be “disintegrating quite badly.”

Highways England later said it “acted quickly to carry out temporary repairs”, which were completed by 8pm that evening.

However, business leaders and community representatives tonight called for more to be done.

The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, which is leading the “No More A14 Delays in Suffolk” campaign with support from MPs, councils and the New Anglia LEP, said the road needed improvements to cope with growth in the county.

The Chamber’s Paul Simon said: “This is further evidence that the A14 in Suffolk is not fit for purpose. “Our concern is that with future potential growth in Bury and other areas in the county, incidents like this are only going to become a more regular occurrence.

“The aim of our campaign is to secure improvements to key junctions at Bury, Ipswich and Newmarket, along with major maintenance schemes as well as a feasibility study from Felixstowe to the M11 at Cambridge.”

Trevor Beckwith, Independent county and district councillor for Moreton Hall said he had made repeated requests for repairs from Highways England, some of which took more than a year to resolve.

“In case Highways England haven’t noticed, the A14 is the major artery from a major container port to the midlands, not to mention a vital commuter link for the ordinary motorist,” he added. “We all deserve much better than this government agency is providing.”

Highways England said “safety is at the heart of everything” it does.

“We are planning to continue monitoring the area until we carry out permanent repairs, which are scheduled to take place soon,” a spokesman added. “We have a road sign in place warning drivers of the uneven surface in the meantime and will keep road users informed.”

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