Work to improve Bury St Edmunds’ Spread Eagle junction to begin on 4 September 2017

Published

Suffolk Highways will begin work on the Spread Eagle junction in Bury St Edmunds to improve both the traffic flow and safety for all road users.

The improvements will see the upgrade of the current old traffic signals, the creation of bus stop bays along Out Westgate and Vinery Road, footpath widening and the installation of a zebra crossing on Vinery Road. The traffic island on Horringer Road will be repositioned to improve pedestrian crossing facilities.

The signals at the junction have been in place for nearly 20 years and will be replaced with a modern system, while the bus stop bays will be built off the road so buses will not have to stop on the highway and hold up traffic.

During the first week of works, the central traffic islands on Out Westgate Street will be removed overnight – enabling two lanes of traffic to pass throughout the works period. Work will then begin on the northbound lane of the junction, widening the footpath to provide better shared use facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

The existing street lighting, bus facilities and pedestrian crossings will all be upgraded as well. This work will be followed by the same improvements on the southbound lane.

New central islands will then be installed on Out Westgate, with these works due to be completed by 10 February. The junction will then be resurfaced over a two-week period, with the road closed between 7pm and 5am.

For the duration of the works, temporary traffic lights will be in place along Out Westgate, Horringer Road and Vinery Road. From the second week, until completion, Petticoat Lane will be closed from Out Westgate to Hospital Road, with traffic diverted via Parkway, Risbygate Street, Out Risbygate and West Road. Access for residents and customers of the Dove pub, the Spread Eagle pub and the petrol station will be maintained throughout.

Removing a turn on the junction will allow traffic on Out Westgate to flow more freely and will also create a safer environment for those working on site. The closure is required to store materials and waste for removal outside of peak traffic times. If it was not there, it would be on either Out Westgate Street or Horringer Road, causing further disruption.

Councillor James Finch, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“I’m delighted we are about to start the second junction improvement project in Bury St Edmunds. This is a large scheme and is twice the size of the Parkway/Cullum Road project. The same team that delivered that scheme will be delivering this project.

"They understand the traffic flows of the town and will also again be able to override the traffic signals if required at peak times to reduce congestion.

“Moving the bus stops off the road and into bays will improve journey times as well as the safety of road users. The widened footpaths and better crossings will mean cyclists and pedestrians benefit from this scheme.

“We regret that this scheme could take up to 25 weeks but the team have allowed for the effects of working through the winter months with potential freezing temperatures, shorter daylight hours. In addition two weeks are allowed for the Christmas / New Year period when no activity will take place. All efforts will be made to reduce this time if at all possible.”

The works will be suspended from 22 December 2017 and will recommence on 4 January 2018. Temporary traffic lights will be operated manually during peak hours and key Christmas shopping times to reduce waiting.