Bridge closure hits Bury’s rush hour

A traffic jam leaving St Saviour's (Tesco) roundabaout from the A14's Junction 43
A traffic jam leaving St Saviour's (Tesco) roundabaout from the A14's Junction 43
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After a reprieve last week because of half term, rush hour drivers heading in and out of Bury St Edmunds today learned the true impact of the closure of Westley Rail Bridge.

The bridge in Newmarket Road, which because of weakness has been restricted to lights-controlled single lane traffic since December 2013, closed to all traffic and pedestrians last Monday for eight weeks so a new reinforced road bed can be laid.

Traffic coming into Bury on the Southgate Green Stretch from A14 Junction 44

Traffic coming into Bury on the Southgate Green Stretch from A14 Junction 44

In the lighter traffic of half term, drivers had no trouble on alternative routes, but not this morning.

Those who used the official diversion and instead of coming off the A14 at Junction 42 went on to Junction 43, the Tesco Roundabout, found themselves queueing round the roundabout.

Staying on the A14 to Junction 44 was no answer as that was even more jammed up than usual.

Coming off at Junction 42 and going through Westley was reported as busier than usual. Four-way temporary traffic lights have been placed at the Hill Road/Westley Road/Westley Lane junction which seem to have maintained the flow through the village though this morning they were creating queues for traffic leaving Bury.

Traffic jam in Fornham Road (A1101) during Monday rush hour

Traffic jam in Fornham Road (A1101) during Monday rush hour

If drivers tried to avoid problems by staying off the A14 and using the A1101, they were again queuing from Tollgate to the Northgate roundabout.

So what will this evening’s rush hour bring? Even last week there were jams in Parkway as more traffic than usual headed to the Tesco Roundabout.

Borough and county councillor Beccy Hopfensperger wants to hear comments about the diversions and parking restrictions for a meeting she is chairing next Monday to review them.

Borough and county councillors and officers will be discussing whether the diversions and parking restrictions are working.

Cllr Hopfensperger said: “I had feedback this morning that from a quarter past eight all the entrances to Bury were busier than usual but flowing.

“The main problem was people were being impatient and backing up onto the A14 to take another exit.”

Anyone with views on the diversions and parking restrictions can contact Cllr Hopfensperger at rebecca.hopfensperger@suffolk.gov.uk or via @Rhopfensperger on Twitter.

How was your journey to work? Have you found a clever alternative route? Let us know at news@buryfreepress.co.uk or www.facebook.com/buryfreepress

*Surprising fact: By the time the work is completed in April it will have taken a month longer to repair than it took to build the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge over the Thames at Dartford.