Lowestoft roadworks misery

Motorists could be facing a month of misery as multiple roadworks cause gridlock in Lowestoft.In the latest phase of the £14.7m Waveney Sunrise Scheme, London Road South, one of the major routes into the south of the town, is closed for a month for resurfacing.

Motorists could be facing a month of misery as multiple roadworks cause gridlock in Lowestoft.

In the latest phase of the £14.7m Waveney Sunrise Scheme, London Road South, one of the major routes into the south of the town, is closed for a month for resurfacing.

And work is still being carried out by Suffolk County Council on Belvedere Road as part of the new £30m southern relief road designed to ease congestion.

Together the schemes are causing major tailbacks along all routes, with journeys that would normally take five minutes now taking over an hour.

Last night traders in the south of the town, who are most affected by the congestion, hit out at Waveney District Council and Suffolk County Council for not co-ordinating - criticism both councils strongly rebuffed.

David Young, Waveney leader of the Liberal Democrats and owner of Young's Newsagents, in Beaconsfield Road, said: “The councils have just not joined up. It is completely ludicrous. Diversion routes are in place but then there are roadworks on all of those.

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“At the moment I am only using my car if it is essential, and not at all between 9am and 5pm.

“The relief road is stacked up to Bloodmoor, which begs the question is it obsolete already? In diverting traffic away from London Road South, it can't even cope now, what's it going to be like in the future?

“The traffic management on this has been appalling.”

Mike Cook, owner of Cook's Furnishers on London Road South, said congestion was so bad he had resorted to delivering goods on foot.

“As far as goods inwards go, it's impossible. Anything delivering large goods just can't get near.”

But Sunrise project manager Paul Moss said traffic travelling south through the town would be less congested if key elements of the Lowestoft Relief Road had been finished on time.

And despite delaying the next phase of London Road South for as long as possible, Sunrise workers were forced to begin due to funding commitments and the need to finish the project by Easter.

He said: “Their completion would have helped in terms of increasing flow. The South Lowestoft Relief Road is due to be completed by now, but Suffolk County Council has been delayed because of problems getting approval from the Highways Agency.

“But the council is doing everything it can to get these works done. We have been co-ordinating with the county council, the Highways Agency and other bodies across Lowestoft including NTL and Anglian Water to make sure there has been as little disruption as possible,” he said.

A County Council spokeswoman added: “We appreciate these works have caused delay and distress and we are doing our best to keep traffic moving. This is a huge project and some elements have caused delay but we are all working together to complete the works as quickly as possible.”