A council chairman has condemned Highways England, amid claims that it failed to stop lorries wreaking havoc in the village of Barrow.
Graham Judge, chairman of Barrow cum Denham Parish Council, said he was ‘hugely disappointed’ in Highways England after it ‘failed to commit’ to an agreement to extendthe closure on the A14 while nightly road repairs were carried out.
“It’s just becoming ridiculous,” he said.
“I just can’t understand why an organisation like Highways England can’t organise some simple road repairs without having to disrupt the lives of so many people in the surrounding areas,” he said.
“They’re causing chaos in the village and you can still see the damage to the verges and village green where the lorries are going over them. It’s an absolute nightmare.”
Mr Judge alerted Highways to the problem in November after residents complained of traffic congestion and being woken up by lorries going through the village.
He urged them to close the A14 at an earlier junction to stop lorries exiting the road at junction 40 and being tempted to take the shortcut through Barrow and Little Saxham.
Highways England responded on December 8, stating that closing the road from junction 38 would be the ‘best option’ and that the closure would be implemented.
But Mr Judge said that there had only been a sign put in place ‘advising’ HGVs that it was not a suitable route.
“The drivers are ignoring the sign and coming through anyway. This is not what we were told would happen,” he said.
But Highways England capital delivery team leader Anna Graham insisted that the closure had been put in place.
“Following concerns raised from residents of Barrow and Little Saxham, we have now moved the closure point back from junction 40 to junction 38,” she said.
“There is a clearly signed diversion route in place, whereby drivers are directed to take the A11 to Mildenhall, then the A1101 to re-join the A14 at junction 43.
“We expect to complete the resurfacing on the A14 eastbound by Wednesday 24 January, then resurfacing the A14 westbound on the same stretch by Wednesday 31 January, subject to weather conditions.”