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Plans revealed to alleviate traffic jams during Oulton Broad gas works

PUBLISHED: 16:18 16 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:33 16 February 2017

The diversions in place during work on the gas mains in Oulton Broad. Graphic: Archant.

The diversions in place during work on the gas mains in Oulton Broad. Graphic: Archant.

Archant

Plans to alleviate traffic congestion during roadworks in Oulton Broad have been revealed.

Lowestoft's Bascule Bridge. Picture: Archant. Lowestoft's Bascule Bridge. Picture: Archant.

Two northbound lanes are to be kept open on the Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft between 6am and 8pm for the duration of the works, which start on Monday, February 20, and are expected to last six weeks.

Under the bridge’s current traffic tidal flow system, northbound traffic is reduced to one lane at 11.30am to create two southbound lanes.

Suffolk County Council’s highways department confirmed the new temporary traffic scheme this week.

It follows fears the town would be brought to a standstill when Bridge Road in Oulton Broad is made into a temporary one-way system to enable ageing gas mains to be replaced.

Dan Poitras, assistant chairman of Lowestoft Vision and Britten Centre manager, has welcomed the news.

He said: “I welcome it. I think it will be a great improvement.”

But he added that customers might still be put off coming into the town centre during the roadworks because they would be expecting congestion.

“I think we are going to be affected no matter what,” said Mr Poitras, “We need to publicise the diversion otherwise people won’t even think of coming into town during that time when they are doing the roadworks.”

National Grid have said the existing metal gas mains in Bridge Road are nearing the end of their operational life and must be replaced to ensure people have access to safe and reliable gas supplies.

The works will see the gas mains replaced between the Shell service station in Normanston Drive, passing by Oulton Broad North railway station, to Oulton Broad library in Bridge Road.

To enable the work to be carried out safely and efficiently, Bridge Road will become a temporary one way system. Northbound traffic - heading into Lowestoft - will be diverted via four alternative diversion routes, which all eventually funnel traffic along Belvedere Road and over the Bascule Bridge.

Southbound traffic - heading out of Lowestoft - will remain on Bridge Road, but on the opposite side of the road.

Some parking bays in the area will be temporarily suspended.

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