The quality of A14 is ‘poor’

A14 - General View
A14 - General View
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Suffolk’s Chief Constable has said that the condition and nature of the A14 make it ‘particularly problematic’ for drivers and police.

Chief Constable Douglas Paxton said it is not possible to significantly reduce the risk of the road in its current state.

He said: “My reflection is the actual quality of the road in sections is poor - the sheer wear and tear.

“With the number of goods vehicles and normal traffic the lanes are narrow and there’s no hard shoulder to safely manage broken down vehicles and accidents.

“Unlike motorways the signage is not as good and the slip roads are not as carefully managed. All those things conspire to make it a particularly problematic road.”

Mr Paxton said that when weighed against the condition and usage of the road police resources could not reduce the risk even to what could be expected on a busy motorway.

He said: “In my ideal world there would be a piece of work seriously considering a much safer more carefully managed road environment preferably involving a hard shoulder better managed slip roads and wider lanes.”

Mr Paxton said he would invite the Highways Agency and central government to consider improvements.

The narrow nature of the A14 also makes it difficult for police to keep it open following an incident.

Mr Paxton said: “I think everybody acknowledges that the number of road closures are too frequent and too long in duration.

“That’s not because emergency services and highways are doing anything other than working as hard as they can it’s because the environment is particularly challenging.”

Mr Paxton said the most important thing drivers could do to counteract these difficulties is to ensure they maintain safe breaking distances particularly in wet weather when standing water sits in crevices on the road’s surface.