Anger as lorries take shortcuts through Little Saxham, Barrow and Bury

Mororists have been using village roads as a shortcut during the A14 closures.
Mororists have been using village roads as a shortcut during the A14 closures.

Residents from across the Bury St Edmunds area have voiced their concerns about vehicles using their village roads as a diversion route.

The small villages of Barrow and Little Saxham have had streams of vehicles, including large HGV lorries, causing chaos on their roads rather than following the sign-posted diversion through Mildenhall.

The A14 eastbound is currently closed from 8pm-6am between junctions 40 and 42, with works expected to continue until January 19.

After Graham Judge, chairman of Barrow Parish Council, spoke about the problem in the Bury Free Press earlier this month, more people have come forward to raise the issue.

Karen Soons, Suffolk county councillor representing The Saxhams, called an emergency meeting with residents on November 10, after lorries drove over an area where Little Saxham was due to hold a Remembrance service.

“HGVs are using the roads in Little Saxham and there are two huge gouges taken out of the green. The residents are absolutely furious,” she said.

“Lorries are getting stuck because these little roads were not built to hold the weight of traffic that’s now passing through. Residents have actually had to get out of their beds to direct traffic. They are quite understandably sick of it.”

But the official diversion is also a problem, according to residents of Westley Road in Bury, which is on the diversion route.

Steve Newman, who lives on the road, said: “Westley Road is a residential road. There are no businesses along it. So by that premise, it should have no HGV lorries driving along it. The damage they’re going to do to the road means that we are going to end up having roadworks for another six months.

“They are flying down the road which, even if it is at night, is so dangerous. What happens if one of the drivers falls asleep or has a heart attack? They would drive straight into houses and kill people.”

According to both Cllr Soons and Mr Newman, the simple solution to the problem would be to close the road at an earlier junction where the A14 becomes the A11.

“By doing that, you could then have a filter lane for local traffic only and lorries would have no choice but to use theapproved and appropriate diversion,” said Cllr Soons.

Both have raised the issue with Suffolk County Council and Highways England.

A council spokesman said: “The diversions are agreed strategic diversion routes, however some motorists may choose to ignore them, which is out of anyone’s control.”