A12 improvements: A14 ‘Seven Hills’ to A1152 Woods Lane

Why we're consulting on improvements to the A12 between A14 junction at 'Seven Hills' and A1152 at Woods Lane.

This consultation has closed.

Contents


Introduction

The A12 is part of Suffolk’s Major Road Network (MRN), reflecting the importance of the route for local communities, the economy, the visitor economy and access to the Energy Coast. It is recognised that there are existing issues along the A12, in particular between the A14 junction at Seven Hills and the A1152 at Woods Lane. Joint authority transport modelling undertaken to support the local plans also indicated that these issues would worsen as a result of planned growth.

The size and cost of a scheme of this type provides limited opportunity for funding. However, the Department for Transport have funding available from 2020 to 2025, that is focussed on this size of scheme and Suffolk County Council was successful in receiving development funding to progress the detail of improvements in this section of the A12 and make the case for funding its delivery.

The Scheme will enhance highway capacity at eight junctions on the A12, between the A14 Seven Hills and the A1152 Woods Lane. It will also provide a new section of dualled road and improve walking/cycling and public transport facilities. We have developed our proposals by assessing traffic movements and traffic demand impacts at the junctions. The results from this analysis are that a number of the A12 junctions will be over capacity and/or be subject to significant congestion in future years, which is associated with planned growth and development in the area.

The works proposed by the A12 Scheme will help to support economic and housing growth and create a better environment for walking/cycling and support an increase in the use of public transport.

A12 improvement proposals map (PDF, 2MB).

What are we consulting about?

Suffolk County Council has been looking at ways to reduce congestion, delay and manage traffic flow on the A12, and has developed proposals to provide extra capacity at eight roundabout junctions where congestion currently exists or is forecast to become a problem in the future.

The junctions are in the list below. The letters (e.g. A) denote the junction on the overview map, junction graphics and in the questionnaire:

  • Junction A: A12-A14 Seven Hills
  • Junction B: A12-Foxhall Road
  • Junction C: Barrack Square
  • Junction D: Anson Road
  • Junction E: A12-A1214 Main Road
  • Junction F: A12-B1438
  • A12 proposed new dual carriageway at Woodbridge
  • Junction G: A12-B1079 Grundisburgh Road
  • Junction H: A12-A1152 Woods Lane

The Scheme also includes:

  • Upgrading the single carriageway between the B1438 (F) and B1079 (G) junctions at Woodbridge, to provide a consistent dual carriageway standard throughout the Scheme
  • Improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and bus services and their passengers, to encourage people to travel more sustainably

Why are we consulting now?

The Department for Transport funding period runs to 2025, for any improvements to be delivered by then Suffolk County Council will need to submit a business case in the summer of this year. We want to hold an early consultation with local people and businesses to inform them about the Scheme and hear their views on the proposals.

We’ll take these views into consideration as we develop the designs and an Outline Business Case for the Scheme . If the government approves the business case and provides the funding for further design work, we will continue to keep people informed about the Scheme and its likely delivery programme.

What are the objectives for the Scheme?

To:

  • improve the capacity of the major road network (MRN)
  • reduce congestion and improve journey time reliability on the A12
  • improve connectivity to the region’s ports
  • support local economic growth and the creation of jobs
  • support the delivery of planned housing growth
  • support the visitor economy
  • support the Energy Coast
  • mitigate the traffic impacts of the proposed Sizewell C development
  • support and encourage walking and cycling
  • improve services for bus users

Overall benefits of the Scheme

By targeting improvements where they are most needed along an 11km length of the A12, we are confident that the Scheme will deliver significant improvements for road users, businesses and the local community. It will help bus services, pedestrians and cyclists, enable committed and planned development to take place and help keep Suffolk connected to the rest of the country for business and tourism.

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Why do we need to improve the A12 now?

We believe now is the right time to upgrade this section of the A12 because:

  • People using the A12 already experience congestion, delay, and unreliable journey times, and this will get worse if we do nothing because of the traffic impacts associated with planned growth and development in the area.
  • Suffolk urgently needs to provide more jobs and homes, some of which are already approved. The A12 needs to be ready for this.
  • If approved the proposed development of a new power station at Sizewell C will add traffic to the A12, especially during its long construction period, so it is important to deliver works on the A12 ahead of the proposed peak construction period The Scheme would also benefit the additional traffic forecast by the Sizewell C application.
  • The A12 is an important link to the east coast for visitor, the growing offshore windfarms in the North Sea (three are generating and five more in development) and the businesses they support.
  • Better conditions for walking, cycling and public transport need to be created to enable people to make local journeys without needing to rely on the car.

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We need to tackle congestion and delay

Average traffic figures graph (PDF, 1MB).

The A12 is busy and congested, not only at peak periods on weekdays, but also at weekends and during the summer when traffic levels are increased by holiday traffic heading for the coast.

Most of this part of the A12 is a dual carriageway, however, there is a length of single lane carriageway near Woodbridge between Seckford Hall Road and the B1079 Grundisburgh Road (junction G). The transition from dual to single carriageway creates a pinch-point for northbound traffic, causing queues to back up at busy times.

Congestion, queueing and delay can also cause problems for people using the roads that lead to and from the A12. People need to be able to join the route, or cross it, to travel to or from residential areas such as Martlesham Heath, employment areas, such as Adastral Park, schools and shopping areas and between Woodbridge, Martlesham and Melton.

In developing the Scheme, and considering options for each of the A12 junctions, we have used traffic data and the Suffolk countywide traffic model to understand the problems at each location, and how they could develop further in the future. This analysis is summarised for each junction in a later section.

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We need to create better conditions for pedestrians, cyclist and bus users

Cycling and walking

It is important that the Scheme does not just focus on providing improvements for cars. Cycling and walking are important in supporting better physical and mental health and protecting the environment, as well as reducing congestion, which is why it is essential that infrastructure to enable cycling and walking is considered as part of the Scheme.

The existing provision for pedestrians and cyclists across and along the A12 to the east of Ipswich and at Woodbridge is limited and of variable standards. We need to encourage more walking and cycling and make sure that the A12, despite being a busy road, is not in itself a barrier to east/west movements by cyclists and pedestrians. This is very important, as the A12 runs through existing and planned built-up areas. We want to make sure that it is safe and convenient to walk and cycle to work, school, local shops and for recreation in these areas. Proposals for improvements are local to the A12 area and would link to existing wider public rights of way networks

  • New government guidance in July 2020 strongly supports this. It sets out a vision for greatly increased levels of walking and cycling and makes it clear that improvements for pedestrians and cyclists is an important part of local highways schemes.

Public transport

We’re keen to encourage more people to travel by bus especially for journeys to work. However, it doesn’t help if buses are then caught up in the same congestion as other traffic.

Good public transport is a key form of sustainable transport providing an option for longer journeys and those who do not have access to a car. It also offers an alternative to the car for many journeys, especially to work, education and shopping. With extensive new housing development planned to the east of Ipswich, we need to ensure that the Scheme improves opportunities for people to use the bus. Many bus routes already use parts of the A12, or run across it but, when these suffer from the same congestion and delays as other traffic, they become less attractive to users and more expensive for operators, affecting the frequency of services.

There are particular problems for the bus services operating in the Martlesham Heath and the retail and employment areas at Beardmore Park and Adastral Park. Delays associated with the A12 junctions make it difficult to operate these services efficiently, and operators report that because of these they have had to reduce some services and modify routes, for example Service 66A from Ipswich town centre. In developing the Scheme, we have looked for solutions which would enable bus services to be restored and improved in this area.

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The need to meet the demands of planned housing and employment growth

Local authorities have a statutory duty to make sure there is an adequate supply of new housing, employment and local facilities to meet the needs of the local people, attract businesses and support the local economy. This responsibility includes planning for growth and ensuring that the infrastructure is planned and delivered in the right way, and at the right time, to support this growth.

These plans for growth are set out in East Suffolk Council’s Local Plan Planning policy and local plans » East Suffolk Council and the other local plans for nearby Local Plan Areas, for example Ipswich. New homes and places of work will generate new demands for travel, and this has been fully considered in our proposals, and in the traffic forecasts we have used to develop and test the Scheme.

This Scheme has taken into account the approved 2,000 home development at Brightwell Lakes, to the east of Ipswich and east of the A12 and south of the Adastral Park science campus which, includes a new school, together with new recreational and healthcare facilities and local shops. This Scheme will not impact on the delivery of this development.

In granting outline planning consent for Brightwell Lakes in November 2018, East Suffolk Council set planning conditions that include improvements to four existing roundabout junctions on the A12 (junctions A, B, C and D of the A12 Scheme) to mitigate the increased traffic generated by the development. Details of the development improvements are not included in the maps or description of this Scheme.

The Scheme that we are now consulting on for the A12 considers wider growth impacts over a longer period than Brightwell Lakes site and will therefore more than satisfy the requirements of the planning conditions. These four A12 junctions will be improved to a higher standard than required by the development alone.

In addition, the Scheme will bring benefits to a greater length of the A12, by including improvements at four other roundabout junctions and additional improvements for walking, cycling and public transport.

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The potential construction of Sizewell C

In November 2009, the Government announced that Sizewell would be a suitable site for the expansion of the UK’s nuclear power programme. The project is designated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) for which development consent is required.

An application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) was submitted by EDF Energy to the Planning Inspectorate in May 2020, and a public examination is due to start in 2021. If approved, construction of the Sizewell C project is likely to take 9 to 12 years with a an large amount of construction activity taking place in 2028.

EDF Energy undertook consultation between 2012 and 2019 and Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council have expressed that EDF must provide mitigation to address the impacts of the project where generated traffic would add to capacity or safety problems on the road network.

EDF’s own assessments show that the construction of the power station could add up to 6% to the overall traffic on the A12 through Woodbridge. During the construction phase, it could add up to 1,000 HGV extra movements per day to the A12 at Woodbridge and east of Ipswich together with construction workers travelling to the park and ride sites.

EDF acknowledge that the project will add extra traffic to an already busy and congested road but have not themselves put forward any proposals to improve the A12 at Woodbridge or east of Ipswich. However, it is clear that adding this extra traffic onto an already congested network will clearly make conditions worse for users of the A12, especially during the construction phase. There is also a concern that congestion on the A12 would lead to some of the lighter EDF vehicles and local traffic using other local roads.

The Scheme considers the increase construction phase traffic flows proposed by the Sizewell C development in developing the junction improvements and delivery would be programmed to be completed before 2028. Discussions are ongoing between Suffolk County Council, East Suffolk Council and EDF to identify a contribution towards these improvements.

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Support tourism and the offshore energy sector

Tourism

The visitor economy and cultural sectors account for a significant part of Suffolk’s economy, and the vibrancy of these areas is a key factor in making the county a popular place to visit, and in which to live and work.

Good transport infrastructure supports the visitor economy and needs to be able to cope with growth in this sector as well as the demands of seasonal traffic. The A12 is the main access to the East Coast and this section in the Scheme is considered a pinch point.

Offshore energy

The County Council has acknowledged that there is a climate emergency and that the county needs to transition to low carbon energy sources.

A number of several offshore wind farms operate off the Suffolk Coast namely Galloper, Great Gabbard and East Anglia One. These developments are important to the economy of Suffolk, especially in Lowestoft, where there has been significant investment.

Other offshore wind farms are in the pipeline including East Anglia Three, East Anglia One North, East Anglia Two, Five Estuaries and North Falls.

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How did we develop our strategic approach to the scheme

Having established the objectives and the need for improvement, we considered a “long list” of different types of solution. It included a wide range of possible highways options, as well as options based on sustainable forms of transport.

We assessed the list systematically by considering:

  • Cost and feasibility
  • Impact on the problems
  • Conformity with national, regional and local policies
  • Achievement of the objectives

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Environmental impact

Environmental impact Suffolk County Council is committed to minimising the environmental impact of our road network and protecting and enhancing the quality of the surrounding environment.

When considering what improvements might be possible to the A12 area, we have carefully considered a range of significant environmental factors.

The following environmental constraints are an indicative sample of the constraints we are assessing in the A12 corridor area, these include but are not limited to:

  • Scheduled Monuments,
  • Heritage Grade Listed Buildings (e.g. Grade I,II and II*),
  • Landscape Character Areas,
  • Habitat listed as Priority Habitat Index,
  • Ancient woodland,
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest,
  • Local Wildlife Sites,
  • Special Area of Conservation,
  • Ramsar wetland sites and
  • Special Protection Areas,
  • Noise and air quality receptors

Next steps as the designs and scheme are progressed will be baseline studies (on site surveys and gathering data) and assessments studies to support feasibility studies, business cases and design processes. An environmental impact assessment is likely to be required for the Scheme.

This process will assess environmental impacts and determine environmental mitigation measures for inclusion in the design of the Scheme. The environmental assessment and design will generally incorporate mitigation measures using a hierarchical system such as:

  • Avoidance and Prevention: design and mitigation measures to prevent the effect (e.g. alternative design options or avoidance of environmentally sensitive sites);
  • Reduction: where avoidance is not possible, then mitigation is used to lessen the magnitude or significance of effects; and
  • Remediation: where it is not possible to avoid or reduce a significant adverse effect, these are measures to offset the effect.

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Improvements for pedestrians and cyclists

In developing the Scheme, we have placed a high priority on the needs of people walking and cycling. Wherever possible, we have taken the opportunity to improve existing facilities as part of the junction improvements. In many places we are proposing new facilities such as pedestrian and cycle crossings, footbridges or underpasses and new or realigned footpaths and cycle tracks which will be safer and more convenient. Our overall aims are to make the A12 less of a barrier to people walking and cycling, and to enable more journeys to be made on foot or by cycle in future.

These improvements (described in detail below) will link into existing routes, recognising other ambitions for walking and cycling in the wider area in the future as funding opportunities arise.

Pedestrian and cycle facilities (Martlesham area)

Proposed walking and cycling facilities Martlesham area (PDF, 2MB).

Proposed improvements in the Martlesham area section include:

  • A new pedestrian / cycle footbridge or underpass across the A12 approximately mid-way between Junction B, the A12 / Foxhall Road junction and Junction C, the A12 / Barrack Square / Eagle Way junction. Two alternative location options are suggested for this
  • Improvements to the existing pedestrian / cycle footbridge over the A12, just north of Junction C, the A12 / Barrack Square / Eagle Way junction
  • Improved lighting in the existing pedestrian underpass below the A12, just south of Junction E, the A12 / A1214 Main Road junction
  • Improved lighting in the existing pedestrian underpass below the A12, just north of Junction D, the A12 / Anson Road junction and widening of its western approach
  • New controlled pedestrian / cycle crossings at the Anson Road / Tesco / Beardmore Park junction, just east of Junction D, the A12 / Anson Road junction

Pedestrian and cycle facilities (Woodbridge area)

Proposed walking and cycling facilities Woodbridge area (PDF, 2MB).

Proposed improvements in the Woodbridge area section include:

  • Over 1km of new segregated pedestrian / cycle path on the east side of the A12 between Seckford Hall Road and B1079 Grundisburgh Road.
  • One of the following two options to link the new segregated pedestrian /cycle path on the east side of the A12 to Top Street:
    • A new pedestrian / cycle footbridge over the B1438 Ipswich Road, just east of Junction F, the A12 / B1438 junction. This option would include a pedestrian /cycle facility via Woodbridge Town Football Club to link to Seckford Hall Road, and a pedestrian / cycle facility from the B1438 Ipswich Road to link to Top Street.
    • An improved pedestrian / cycle route from Old Barrack Road (Woodbridge) to Top Street (Martlesham) via Sandy Lane, this would be achieved by closing a section of Sandy Lane to vehicles, this option would include a controlled crossing on B1438 Ipswich Road. Access to properties off Sandy Lane would be maintained.
  • A new controlled pedestrian / cycle crossing across the A12 at Seckford Hall Road, north of Junction F, the A12 / B1438 junction
  • A new controlled pedestrian / cycle crossing across the B1079 Grundisburgh Road, just east of Junction G, the A12 / B1079 Grundisburgh Road junction
  • A new controlled pedestrian / cycle crossing across the A12, just south of Junction G, the A12 / B1079 Grundisburgh Road junction
  • A new controlled pedestrian / cycle crossing across the A12, just north of Junction H, the A12 / A1152 Woods Lane junction
  • A new segregated pedestrian / cycle path from Woods Lane to the new crossing above.

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Improvements for bus users

A number of bus routes use sections of the A12, or cross over it at the junctions. Potential improvements to these junctions (described in detail below) will reduce queueing and delay by providing bus priority enabling buses to operate more reliably. Without these improvements, increasing congestion could make it more difficult to operate these services reliably.

Proposed public transport improvements (PDF, 398KB)

In addition to the general capacity improvements at junctions, options for improvements for buses are being considered in the Martlesham Heath area, as illustrated. These include:

  • Bus priority at the traffic signals at Junction E, the A12 / A1214 Main Road junction. To be fully assessed and designed at next stage of Scheme planning. Bus priority at the proposed new traffic signals at Junction D, the A12 / Eagle Way / Anson Road roundabout to be fully assessed and designed at next stage of Scheme planning
  • Bus priority at the proposed new traffic signals at Junction C, the A12 / Eagle Way / Barrack Square to be fully assessed and designed at next stage of Scheme planning.
  • A potential new bus hub at Adastral Park. This would provide a location to change between services with waiting facilities and information.
  • A dedicated bus link and bus gate between the A1214 Main Road and Eagle Way via Portal Avenue past the current Police Headquarters, enabling some bus journeys to save time by avoiding A12 junctions.
  • A bus gate between Eagle Way and Valiant Rd, near to The Square, providing an opportunity for new or modified bus routes to serve the Martlesham Heath residential and shopping area.

Public Transport is an import element of increasing opportunities to travel sustainably and these improvements, together with the general capacity improvements at junctions on the A12, would make it easier for operators to improve bus services in the area.

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The proposed scheme: junction by junction

The next sections look at each junction on the A12 to the east of Ipswich and at Woodbridge, including the proposed dualling.

We are looking at the corridor as a whole to ensure consistency in design, and proportionate improvements to costs. Where delays are quoted, these are given for the morning peak hour (8am to 9am) and the evening peak hour (5pm to 6pm).

Forecast impacts are based on the Department for Transport’s forecasts of traffic growth including local plan growth, For all junctions many options were considered. We are presenting our preferred option for each junction apart from Junction C where two options are presented.

Understanding the delay figures

We’ve presented delay figures for all eight of the junctions that make up the Scheme, to demonstrate how much improvement we expect to achieve with the proposed solutions. The figures represent the predicted delay in seconds per vehicle, averaged across all approach arms to the junction and all vehicles during one of the peak hours. This was calculated for2025 (earliest opening year) and 2040 (the future modelled year).

Naturally there will be variations in the delay experienced by individual drivers on different approaches, but the AM and PM Average Delay per Vehicle tables gives a good indication of whether the Scheme is likely to reduce congestion.

The number of vehicles is forecast to increase between now and 2025 and 2040, this is demonstrated in LINK. With these forecasts it will be expected that further benefits will accrue over time as numbers increase

Signalised junctions

Many of the proposals for the junction include traffic signals on some or all of the arms of the roundabouts. The current junctions suffer from dominant movements taking up an unequal share of the roundabouts capacity, Signals will help to manage the traffic, keeping the traffic fluid and studies have shown that congested roundabouts can be improved with traffic signal control.

Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation (MOVA) is traffic signal technology that is used to control traffic signals based on the presence of vehicles detected on different arms of an approach to a signalised junction. MOVA detects the traffic demands of the different arms and responds to those demands by reconfiguring the green time given to each arm. It is particularly well suited to sites with high traffic flow, particularly where these are seasonal or intermittent. MOVA can also be used to facilitate signalised pedestrian crossings.

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Junction A: A12-A14 Seven Hills

Overview

This junction is a large, grade separated roundabout at the intersection of the A12 with the A14 trunk road part of the Strategic Road Network managed by Highways England. It is designated as Junction 58 on the A14 route.

Issues

There are capacity problems on the A12, the A14 (west) and A1156 approach arms to the roundabout which causes queueing and delays at peak times. Traffic demand is forecast to increase, and without improvement, these delays will therefore get worse in the future, especially in the morning peak hour. 

Outline proposal

Junction A: A12-A14 Seven Hills (PDF, 2.5MB).

The junction improvements would involve:

  • The partial signalisation of the roundabout.
  • The A12, A14 (east) and A1156 approaches would be signal controlled, with stop lines on these approaches and within the roundabout.
  • A segregated left-turn filter lane would be provided between the A14 (east) and the A1156 Felixstowe Road.
  • The other approaches and slip roads would be widened, lengthened and realigned to provide greater capacity.
  • No changes would be needed to the existing overpass bridges.

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Junction B: A12-Foxhall Road

Overview

This junction is a large conventional roundabout with four approach arms. The A12 main road runs north to south through the junction. The Foxhall Road and Newbourne Road approaches are characterised by tight S-shaped curves.

Issues

In its present form, the junction would not have sufficient capacity to handle expected traffic growth, and queueing and delays, already a problem on the A12 and Foxhall Road approach arms, would continue to increase. At PM peak there is a dominant flow from the A12 north turning west onto Foxhall Road, causing significant delay on other arms. It is not possible to increase the capacity by simply widening the side road approach arms, because the combination of tight S curves, limited visibility and lane-changing would increase the risk of collisions.

Outline proposal

Junction B: A12-Foxhall Road (PDF, 2.7MB).

This proposed scheme (illustrated as junction B) would involve the:

  • Partial signalisation of the roundabout. The A12 approaches would be signal controlled, with stop lines on the approaches and within the roundabout.
  • Foxhall Road and Newbourne Road approaches would be re-aligned and widened to provide additional lanes for traffic, which would enter the roundabout at conventional give-way lines.

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Junction C: Barrack Square (option 1 or option 2)

Overview

This junction is a large conventional roundabout with four approach roads. To the west, Eagle Way provides one of the two accesses to the Martlesham Heath residential area. To the east, Barrack Square provides access to BT Adastral Park, and a priority “T” junction with Gloster Road provides the southern access to the Beardmore Park area.

As one of the two points of access to these important residential, commercial and employment areas on the eastern side of Ipswich, the roundabout needs to work efficiently for cars, buses and commercial vehicles, and be able to handle expected traffic growth.

Issues

This is a busy junction, and there are capacity problems on the A12 (north and south) and Barrack Square approaches, leading to queuing and delays, especially during the morning and evening peak hour. Queueing here adversely affects the Barrack Square / Gloster Road junction. The roundabout is a key junction for bus routes, but traffic delays and unpredictable journey times make it difficult to operate buses efficiently. This has contributed towards the reduction or withdrawal of services in the recent past.

Outline proposal

At this location we have two suggested options proposed.

Option 1

Junction C option 1: Barrack Square (PDF, 2.5MB).

Option 1 would involve:

  • Enlarging the roundabout to incorporate the junction with Gloster Road. This would provide direct access to the A12 junction, alleviating the impact of queuing on Barrack Square
  • Each of the five approach arms would then be controlled by traffic signals, with stop lines on the entries and circulating carriageway.

Option 1 would require a significant amount of non-highway land in its construction, adding to the likely cost and complexity of the Scheme.

Option 2

Junction C option 2: Barrack Square (PDF, 2.5MB).

  • The proposed option 2 gives an alternative layout which doesn't require significant additional land. Signalisation and improvement of the A12 / Barrack Square roundabout Signalisation of the Barrack Square / Gloster Road junction.

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Junction D: Anson Road

Overview

This junction is a large, conventional roundabout with four approach arms. and is quite constrained by surrounding development. To the west, Eagle Way provides one of the two accesses to the Martlesham Heath residential area. To the east, Anson Road provides the northern access to the Beardmore Park Retail and business area.

A smaller conventional four-arm roundabout on Anson Road, about 180m east of the A12 / Anson Road junction provides access to a Tesco supermarket and petrol stations and other retail outlets to the north -east, to the south, a further busy retail and employment area. In between the two roundabouts, served from a priority access on the south side of Anson Road, is another petrol station.

There are informal pedestrian crossings with dropped kerbs on all approaches to the Anson Road / Tesco / Beardmore Park roundabout.

Issues

The A12 / Anson Road junction is heavily used and there is a lack of capacity on the two A12 approaches and on Anson Road which causes congestion, queueing and delay, especially during the peak hours and weekends. The closeness of the two roundabouts means queues at one junction can interfere with the operation of the other. Pedestrians on Anson Road have to cross between gaps in the traffic, as there are no controlled pedestrian or cycle crossings. This creates problems for people walking or cycling between the Tesco site and the busy Beardmore Park. The cycle right-turning lane on Anson Road is not easy to use. The roundabout is a key junction for bus routes, but traffic delays and unpredictable journey times make it difficult to operate buses efficiently.

Option development

To improve the layout of this A12 junction to reduce queueing and delay it became clear that, any improvement would need to include the Anson Road / Tesco junction. This also provided the opportunity to improve conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and buses.

Outline proposal

Junction D: Anson Road (PDF, 2.4MB)

The proposed scheme (illustrated as junction D) would involve:

  • Converting the A12 junction into a signal-controlled roundabout, with stop lines on all four approaches and on the roundabout itself.
  • The Anson Way / Tesco roundabout would be converted into a signal-controlled crossroads, with controlled pedestrian and cycle crossings on each approach

Bus priority measures could be introduced as part of the traffic signal system.

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Junction E: A12-A1214 Main Road

Overview This junction is a large partially signalised roundabout with five approach arms. The northern and southern arms carry the A12. To the west, the A1214 Main Road provides access to Kesgrave and Ipswich town centre. To the north-west, the Martlesham Park and Ride site has a direct access onto the roundabout. To the east, Main Road provides access to Martlesham. This approach is controlled by a give-way line. All the other entries are signal controlled with stop lines both on the approach roads and the roundabout itself.

Approximately 115m west of the roundabout is a signalised junction at the exit from the park and ride and access to Portal Avenue. The signals prioritise the Park and Ride bus movements but are not currently linked to the signals on the A12 junction.

Issues

There is a lack of capacity on the A12 and A1214 Main Road approach arms leading to queuing and delays, especially during the peak hours.

Outline proposal

Junction E: A12-A1214 Main Road (PDF, 2.7MB)

The proposed scheme (illustrated as junction E) would:

  • Widen the A1214 Main Road (west)
  • Widen the circulating carriageway on the south-west side.
  • Improved signal co-ordination and control would be introduced on Junction E and between there and Portal Avenue.
  • Combine Portal Avenue and P and Ride access into a single junction

A new bus link would be provided connecting the A1214 Main Road via Portal Avenue, to Eagle Way to the south. The improved junction performs well at 2025 levels of traffic. However, even with the junction improvement, the morning peak hour delays in 2040 are likely to be higher than at present, though much lower than they would be if the junction was not improved.

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Junction F: A12-B1438

Overview

This junction is a large conventional roundabout with three approach arms. The south western approach is the dual carriageway A12. The eastern approach is the single carriageway B1438 Ipswich Road and is the main route into Woodbridge from the south. The northern approach is the A12 Woodbridge Bypass. The A12 is a dual carriageway as it leaves the roundabout, but after about 470m it narrows to a single carriageway (only one lane in each direction) up to Junction G).

Issues

The A12 west and B1438 approach arms experience delay in peak periods, weekends and during the Summer. However, the reduction of the northern A12 arm from dual to single carriageway causes significant delay on the A12 west approach.

Outline proposal

Junction F: A12-B1438 (PDF, 1.9MB).

The proposed scheme (illustrated as junction F) would:

  • Provide a segregated northbound free flow lane on the A12 (west) approach.
  • Local widening to provide an increased capacity on the B1438 approach.

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A12 proposed new dual carriageway at Woodbridge

Overview

Between the A12 / B1438 Junction F and the A12 / B1079 Grundisburgh Road Junction G at a point just north of Seckford Hall Road, the A12 changes from a dual carriageway to a single carriageway.

Issues

This single carriageway section creates a pinch point, especially for northbound traffic which has to negotiate the transition from two lanes into one shortly after leaving the A12 / B1438 roundabout. This interferes with the operation of junction F and causes additional delay.

The two-way traffic flow on this section is about 32,000 vehicles per day, which is high for a single carriageway road. Within the next five years or so, we would expect this section to be at or near its capacity. Apart from this short section, the A12 is a dual carriageway all the way from London to the A12 / A1152 Woods Lane junction H.

Outline proposal

A12 proposed new dual carriageway (PDF, 3.9MB).

This section would be widened to:

  • provide a full dual carriageway in both directions.
  • Introduce a 50mph speed limit between junctions F and G. A 70mph limit was considered but would require a more significant additional land.
  • Relocate the lay-by on the western side of the A12
  • Remove lay-by on eastern side of A12 to provide space for a new 5m wide segregated pedestrian and cycle path will be provided between Seckford Hall Road and the A12 / B1079 Grundisburgh Road junction G.

Illustrative cross section for the dual carriageway section (PDF, 249KB).

The orientation of this image is north facing, indicating the location of the proposed 5m foot- and cycleway to the east of the A12. We propose to separate the pedestrian and cycle sections by lines on the ground rather than a low physical barrier as seen in the image. The image also shows that the existing highway boundary will need to be extended to the west.

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Junction G: A12-B1079 Grundisburgh Road

Overview

This junction is a conventional roundabout with four approach arms The single carriageway B1079 Grundisburgh Road crosses the A12 east to west , providing access to the western parts of Woodbridge and the town centre. There is a large garden centre (Dobbies) and a range of other retail units on the south-west side of the roundabout.

Issues

There is significant queueing on both of the A12 approach arms. This is caused by dominant flows into Woodbridge and towards Grundisburgh at the morning and evening peak.

Outline proposal

Junction G: A12-B1079 Grundisburgh Road (PDF, 1.9MB).

The proposed scheme includes:

  • Enlarging the roundabout on the north-west side,
  • Widening all the approach arms
  • Partly signalising the junction. The two B1079 approaches would have conventional give-way lines.

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Junction H: A12-A1152 Woods Lane

Overview

This is a large conventional roundabout with three approach arms. The eastern approach is the single carriageway A1152 Woods Lane, which provides the access to Melton and northern Woodbridge. The approach from the south is the A12 Woodbridge Bypass, a dual carriageway with a speed limit of 50mph. This roundabout marks the end of the local dual carriageway section.

Issues

There is significant delay on the A12 north approach arm to this junction particularly in the AM peak hour. This is caused by the heavy right turning traffic from the A12 (south) into the A1152 Woods Lane. However, traffic is relatively heavy on all approaches at peak times, and there is also queuing on the A1152 Woods Lane approach due to a general lack of capacity at the junction.

Outline proposal

Junction H: A12-A1152 Woods Lane (PDF, 1.6MB)

The preferred scheme involves:

  • Widening all approach arms,
  • The partial signalisation of the junction. The A1152 Woods Lane would remain as a give way junction. The A12 northbound exit would be widened to provide two lanes of traffic, these would merge at a point 150 metres north of where they currently merge.

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Cost of the scheme

As well as providing benefits outlined above, the Scheme must also provide value for money, and must be affordable, commercially viable and deliverable in practice. It must also contribute towards more sustainable transport. All these things will be set out in detail in the outline business case and funding bid that we will submit to the Department for Transport later in 2021.

These improvements are estimated to cost between £40 million and £60 million, the higher figure includes all the sustainable travel measures. The Scheme we are presenting here can only be delivered if we get funding from the Department for Transport, local development contributions will also be sought.

The Outline Business Case will set out the strategic need for the scheme, the value for money and estimated costs. This will include evidence of existing problems, how a wide range of options has been considered and include how responses from this consultation have been considered and have influenced the preferred Scheme.

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Timeline for the scheme

We’d like to see the Scheme completed by the end of 2025. Achieving this will depend on the Government’s response to our business case, and on planning processes.

The shortest possible timeline is:

  • Public consultation: February to March 2021
  • Report to Suffolk County Council Cabinet: Summer 2021
  • Submit outline business case to Department for Transport: Summer 2021
  • Design development: Autumn 2021
  • Progress detailed design, engagement and planning: Winter 2021 / 2022
  • Start of construction: Autumn 2023
  • Estimated date for scheme completion: Winter 2025

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Have your say

This consultation closed on 19 March 2021.

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Further information and online public sessions

Recording of public sessions

Watch a recording of a public presentation held on:

Contact details

Email consultationstransportstrategy@suffolk.gov.uk or call the Consultation line on 0345 603 1842.

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