Beccles roadworks caused traffic “chaos”
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Several roads running through Beccles town centre have been closed or partially blocked this week, causing major traffic delays.
Temporary traffic lights have been in place at the bottom of Blyburgate at the Peddars Lane, Ingate and Frederick’s Road junction while work is carried out by Suffolk County Council to install cables to serve Playters Solar Farm at Ellough.
Traffic lights were also in place at the bottom of Ingate, with track maintenance at the level crossing being carried out overnight by Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd.
The works resulted in queues of traffic piling up along Station Road, Newgate and Blyburgate, particularity on Monday and Tuesday morning, as motorists attempted to enter and exit the town.
Stuart Holman, who took over The Car Shop in Blyburgate, Beccles, a couple of weeks ago, said the roadworks had put people off visiting the town.
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He said: “We had a dreadful day on Monday. People just got fed up of waiting in traffic and gave up.
“I know from the previous owner what takings should be like on a Monday and I probably took a quarter of that.
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“I’ve spoken to a lot of business owners along the street and they have all said the same thing.”
The road was also completely blocked off at the top of Blyburgate and Hungate going into Exchange Square and New Market going into Smallgate while Suffolk County Council carried out emergency repairs near the Public Hall where the road had partially collapsed.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “The works taking place on Blyburgate are pre-planned works to install cabling for the Solar farm project. The works in Smallgate are being carried out as an emergency due to a partial road collapse. Highways teams will be on site investigating the cause of the collapse and repairing it. Unfortunately these works have required a diversion to be put in place, and we understand this will cause some disruption, especially considering the other works already planned to take place in the town. However we have a duty to keep the highway safe and we hope to be able to complete the emergency work as soon as possible.”
Temporary traffic lights have also been in place at the junction of Pleasant Place and St Georges Road, with work again being carried out by Suffolk County Council to install cables to serve Playters Solar Farm.
Beccles mayor Hugh Taylor said the roadworks had led to an “almost chaotic situation.”
He said: “Responsibility for highways matters sits with the county council and Beccles county councillor Chris Punt has been actively involved, working with Suffolk Highways, in making efforts to reduce the impact of all the roadworks.
“Our district councillors and Town Hall have also been active in trying to alleviate the situation and the police have also been doing what they can.
“It is not a happy coincidence that all this disruption is occurring at the same time and the level of frustration by those most affected is fully understood. There are undoubtedly lessons to be learned but the ‘tipping point’ from the manageable to the almost unmanageable could not have been foreseen.”