Weeks of chaos feared over A17 roadworks at Sutton Bridge
Traffic heading out of West Norfolk on the A17 could be stuck in massive queues - or forced to divert via Wisbech - because of forthcoming roadworks at Sutton Bridge.
The village's parish council has been told Cross Keys Bridge will close to westbound (Norfolk to Lincolnshire) traffic from Monday, September 16 to Friday, October 25.
The parish council heard diversions have not yet been finalised - and there could yet be traffic light management to accommodate two-way traffic for the near six-week duration of the works.
The Victorian swing bridge is the only direct link from Lincolnshire to Norfolk.
Massive queues build up on the approach to the border crossing when the bridge is swung to allow boats to pass along the River Nene.
On the Lincolnshire side, tailbacks often stretch to the McDonald’s roundabout at Long Sutton.
Parish and county councillor Chris Brewis told Sutton Bridge Parish Council that queues had built up during two-way working during previous works on the bridge.
He said if two-way working is adopted this time, he has asked that the lights stay on green longer than previously to help minimise delays.
Mr Brewis said: “It is going to be a major piece of work which has to be done.”
Parish councillor Michael Booth works farmland on both sides of the county border and says a westbound closure will be “inconvenient”.
Mr Booth, who lives on the Lincolnshire side, says harvesting takes place in September.
He said: “We have got some land three miles over the other side of the bridge - at Walpole Cross Keys - and we are hoping to have it cleared before work starts on the bridge.”
Mr Booth said it wouldn’t be practical to go over the bridge and come back via Wisbech given the size and speed of farm machinery.
Lincolnshire County Council has been asked for details of the traffic management plan but no information has been provided so far.