Rougham businesses hit as road building closes direct route to the A14

The first part of the relief road, between the two roundabouts, is open and businesses ask why the second part to the estate cannot open
The first part of the relief road, between the two roundabouts, is open and businesses ask why the second part to the estate cannot open
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Businesses on Rougham Industrial Estate say work on a relief road is hitting trade as customers and deliveries struggle to get to them.

They say the work building the Bury St Edmunds Eastern Relief Road should have been planned to ensure they always had a direct route from the estate to the A14’s junction 45. Instead, the fourth phase of the work has left them having to go via the congested Sainsbury’s roundabout or take long detours to get into Bury.

The changing phases of the work have also meant changing diversions.

Ian Turner’s Abbey Motor Factors is having to meet wholesalers’ vans at Ravenwood Hall to save them getting delayed at the busiest times.

Mr Turner said: “I could hit a golf ball from here to Ravenwood but it is taking my drivers 15 minutes to get there.

“I’ve got five vans each going out seven or eight times a day delivering parts and it puts five miles on the journey every delivery and putting on 15 to 20 minutes extra.

“We’ve lost lots of money. When people can come straight off the A14 they come over, pick it up and away – we’ve lost all that business.

“Nobody wants to come and see me because it puts so many miles on the journey and nobody knows which roads are going to be open.”

He agrees with John Frost, managing director of M C Integ, who emailed Suffolk County Council’s contractors Breheney asking why the apparently complete second stretch of the road could not be opened to give them access.

Mr Frost said: “They say they don’t want it to become a rat run. Their answer appears to be we’ve got to put up with it.

“Businesses on Rougham Industrial Estate are just being held to ransom. If people want to go to Bury they’re having to go to Thurston or Beyton and back. The lorries are having to go via Woolpit.”

Paul Wiseman, at Rougham Motor Company, has tried to help customers by picking up more cars, but is constantly having calls from clients who have got lost going to them.

“The diversion signs have been rubbish,” he said.

In addition, when he has to road test cars he is working on, it is taking him 25 minutes instead of the usual 10.

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said: “Access to Rougham Industrial Estate is maintained at all times whilst the road leading to the A14 underpass is being constructed.

“The diversion route is clearly signed and is due to be removed by the 23rd of May 2017, two weeks earlier than originally programmed.”