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Roads jammed in bridge closure chaos

PUBLISHED: 12:01 05 February 2008 | UPDATED: 19:39 05 July 2010

MOTORISTS and commuters faced long delays in Lowestoft this week during the latest round of bridge closures.

All major routes through Oulton Broad were jammed with slow-moving traffic as the town's bascule bridge was closed from 8pm on Saturday night and until 6am on Tuesday morning.

MOTORISTS and commuters faced long delays in Lowestoft this week during the latest round of bridge closures.

All major routes through Oulton Broad were jammed with slow-moving traffic as the town's bascule bridge was closed from 8pm on Saturday night and until 6am on Tuesday morning.

Although traffic eased in the middle of the day, there were long queues along Belvedere Road and Victoria Road in the morning and after 4pm, with some motorists reporting journeys of longer than an hour to cross the town during rush hour.

A Suffolk police spokesman said that in spite of heavy traffic and severe delays, there had not been any incidents on the town's roads yesterday. During previous closures, police officers have been verbally abused by frustrated motorists but yesterday's closure passed without major problems.

She added: “Obviously with future closures coming up we repeat what has been said before - please be patient, leave extra time for your journey, use the park and ride service if you can and please follow the signed routes.”

Many businesses in the town have reported major losses since the works started in October last year but The closures are to allow for preparatory engineering work before a £2.3m Highways Agency maintenance project and will continue until Easter.

Roger Chenery, project manager for the Highways Agency, said that the maintenance scheme is essential to ensure that the bridge continues to be useable in the future.

He added: “The residents, businesses, schools and other organisations in Lowestoft have been very patient and we would like to thank them for their help in ensuring the closures so far have run as smoothly as possible."

The bridge will be closed for from 8pm on Saturday, February 23 until 6am on February 28 and again from 8pm on March 15 to 6am on March 17.

A temporary footbridge will again be set up next to the Bascule Bridge and free park and ride bus services will operate from the former rifle range at Pakefield between 7am and 7pm on weekdays. Additional pay and display car parking will be available at Marine Parade if other local car parks are full.

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