Pledge to drivers over Lowestoft road chaos

The work by the Bascule Bridge

The work by the Bascule Bridge - Credit: Picture: Nick Butcher

Motorists caught up in traffic gridlock caused by major roadworks near Lowestoft's A12 Bascule Bridge were this week told the problems could ease 'very shortly'

Since work started two weeks ago to install a new gas pipe in busy Belvedere Road and Pier Terrace, big queues have built up in the town centre at evening rush hour.

However National Grid said yesterday that some of the measures put in place to control the flow of traffic onto and off the bridge would soon be removed.

Its pledge followed discussions with the Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce about the problems caused by the roadworks and possible ways to mitigate them.

One suggestion raised at the meeting – involving temporarily changing the way traffic signals worked and turning off pedestrian crossings in the area – did not prove to be practicable.

You may also want to watch:

But in an effort to minimise the disruption, National Grid has sough to speed up the project by carrying out the work seven days a week.

After his meeting with representatives from National Grid, James Reeder, chairman of the chamber of commerce, said he was confident it was doing all it could to minimise traffic problems.

Most Read

Mr Reeder said: 'They are working extremely hard to try and minimise the disruption that the National Gird is very conscious of.

'I do feel that the people working down there are trying their best in a very difficult situation.

'They are putting all their efforts into opening up the roads as soon as possible.'

Traffic lights could not be changed as they were part of an integrated system, he said, and the suggestion to turn off a pedestrian crossing was ruled out on safety grounds.

The National Grid work – which is scheduled to last until the end of March – has led to northbound traffic on Belvedere Road being restricted to one lane on the approach to the bridge and southbound traffic flowing into one lane as it leaves the bridge

The 24-hour lane closures prompted a flurry of complaints from motorists, with some labelling the work 'a nightmare' and 'an absolute disgrace' and claiming it was taking two hours to travel from St Peter's Street to the bridge.

As previously reported, the work cannot take place at night as it could impact on people living nearby.

Yesterday, a National Grid spokesman said: 'We are on schedule. We are working seven days a week and have met with the chamber of commerce and been in contact with the local MP, councillors and the highways authority.

'We are discussing all our traffic management on a daily basis.

'We are hoping to release shortly some of the traffic management to ease traffic flow on the bridge. We are hoping to do that very shortly.'

The spokesman stressed the removal of some traffic management measures would be dependent on weather conditions.

The steel gas pipe which is being installed will last until the end of century. Part of it is being laid though a tunnel under Lake Lothing.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus