Fears over A11 re-route plans

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PLANS to re-route the A11 while work is being carried out could see 31,000 cars a day on a busy stretch of road.

With work on the dualling of a nine-mile stretch of the A11 between Barton Mills and Thetford due to begin this year, preliminary plans to divert traffic past RAF Lakenheath on the A1065 and through Brandon are being presented to stakeholders.

The plans, seen by the Bury Free Press, could see up to 31,000 motorists diverted from the Fiveways roundabout, up the A1065 and through Brandon’s Market Hill traffic lights before rejoining the A11 via the B1107 Brandon Road.

With Market Hill already notorious for gridlock, Bill Bishop, Suffolk county councillor for Brandon, said implementing the plans would be a disaster for the town.

“A scheme like that would actually ruin Brandon. I love the thought of the A11 getting done, but the thought of 31,000 cars coming through Brandon is not good,” he said.

The plans will be put before stakeholders including Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, and representatives from the Highways Agency on January 20 at Suffolk County Council.

Guy McGregor, the county council’s portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning, said the Highways Agency wanted to use pre-existing emergency diversion routes during construction.

“There is a big issue between us and the Highways Agency about diversion routes and we are challenging their presumptions on this. We want to keep diversions to a minimum,” he said.

“I would be very surprised if we agreed to any diversions that pushed traffic through Brandon but it could happen.”

Although no indication of how long a diversion may be in place has been given, the dualling is expected to take around two years.