The bascule bridge

Update: Police plea to motorists over traffic disruption in Lowestoft

Friday, February 1, 2013
3.59 PM

WITH motorists in Lowestoft facing up to eight weeks of disruption on one of the town’s busiest roads, police have urged locals to allow for extra time for their journeys.

A lane was closed off this week on a stretch of the dual-carriageway A12 Belvedere Road as National Grid engineers began work reinforcing part of the underground gas network by installing a new steel pipe, and with reports of traffic congestion at peak times during the day police have issued a warning to motorists.

The work – which is scheduled to continue until the end of March – will see northbound traffic on Belvedere Road restricted to one lane on the approach to the Bascule Bridge while southbound traffic will flow from one lane on the bridge into two lanes on Belvedere Road 24 hours a day.

The National Grid says it has worked closely with Suffolk County Council to minimise disruption and has sent letters to nearby businesses informing them of the work, which will also be carried out in Pier Terrace.

It says that once the new steel pipe is installed it should last until the end of the century.

Project manager Karl Shipp said: “We appreciate that this is a busy route so we ask road users to allow extra time for their journey. “This will be a short-term inconvenience for a long-term benefit.”

Part of the reinforced gas pipe will be laid through an existing tunnel under Lake Lothing at the harbour’s mouth.

Speaking after traffic problems led to major delays last night, Lowestoft Inspector Anthony Bridgland said; “We are aware there was significant traffic congestion and we’d ask that motorists bear in mind there may be delays in the centre of the town with a knock-on effect through Oulton Broad while the work is carried out.

“If you can avoid the area at peak times please do so, but we know that many people coming in and going home from work are likely to be travelling then and therefore we may all need to leave extra time for our journeys and be patient.

“From a policing perspective we are deploying officers in both the north and south of the town to ensure our response times are not affected and that we continue to function normally,” Insp Bridgland said.

● Have you been affected by the disruption? E-mail reporter anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk