First published in The Felixstowe Flyer, September 2020.
As expected, Highways England started a further round of remedial work on the A14 between Junction 58 Levington and Junction 62 The Port of Felixstowe on the 10 August. This work is now scheduled to continue for 24 weeks. We met with Highways England in February for initial discussions regarding this work and tried to persuade them to use a contraflow system on the A14 during this time.
The would have alleviated the months of misery that the villagers of Trimley and residents of Walton and Felixstowe experienced last time such work was undertaken with diverted lorries thundering past their homes all night. Unfortunately, our suggestions were dismissed and at a more recent online meeting with them they explained that the A14 carriageway was marginally too narrow to allow a contraflow system. We find this difficult to understand as in normal circumstances lorries regularly overtake one another at speed on the same carriageway.
They also introduced their programme for the work which was to consist of nine continuous phases with different diversions through the town and villages. The exct programme and diversions can be found on the Highways England website. One of the major problems for residents is the state of the roads used for the diversions that are already in a poor state of repair following utilities work and poor reinstatement of the surface. The local Highways Authority had told us in February that they would rectify these flaws before the diversions were necessary. In reality they came and marked some of the defects with paint. This is to our knowledge the only work that was carried out. We do wonder if this paint was a magic potion that would repair the roads! As a result of this, heavy goods vehicles using the diversion and travelling at speed hit the various defects causing their loads to move about on their trailers creating an unacceptable noise and misery for residents most of the night. Poor diversion signalling has also meant lorries being wrongly directed into Seaton Road.
Work on Maidstone Road footbridge continues with the road at the bridge being closed and only accessed by pedestrians and cyclists. It has been reported that several cyclists, despite the obvious signage, do not dismount as requested and create a danger to pedestrians. For everybody’s safety please observe the signs.
The shared space section of Hamilton Road has been closed to vehicles for safety reasons for some weeks because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was to allow shoppers to shop in safety whilst maintaining social distancing. The initial closure was for a limited period and was well received by local residents. It has been decided that this closure will continue indefinitely but monitored to assess its impact.
Wetherspoons latest and seventh application to build a public house on the former site of the Central Surgery has been received. This is a more acceptable application and, as had been recommended previously, has been designed to enhance Great Eastern Square. Felixstowe Town Council have recommended the plans for approval. We wait for East Suffolk Council’s decision!