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A17 misery at Sutton Bridge as swing bridge road surfacing starts

There were traffic queues stretching for at least three miles today on day one of the four-week scheme to resurface Cross Keys Bridge.

Drivers reported being stuck for more than 45 minutes on the A17 approach to Sutton Bridge and there were queues in the village’s Bridge Road and on the diversion route via Wisbech.

Today’s problems were made worse at about 7am when the road bridge was swung into the middle of the River Nene to allow a boat to pass through to Wisbech.

Traffic queuing on the A17 yesterday as bridge resurfacing works began
Traffic queuing on the A17 yesterday as bridge resurfacing works began

One resident said the roadworks team were being proactive - by changing the lights to green to favour the longer queue - but added: “It is going to be hell for a month.”

Some drivers witnessed cars overtaking thequeues while others abandoned their cars at the roadside because it was quicker on foot to reach destinations in Sutton Bridge.

One upset driver hit social media to warn the queue jumpers that they are accidents waiting to happen, adding: “Wait in the queue just like all the other people are having to.”

Commuter Alison Plastow, a stop smoking practitioner for One You Lincolnshire, left her car on the side of the road in Sutton Bridge and walked to work.

She works from Sutton Bridge Medical Centre every Monday and left home in Whaplode half-an-hour earlier than unusual.

“I thought I would go through Long Sutton and avoid the A17, but traffic was queued back from the start of Sutton Bridge,” she said.

“I left my car at Tears on the side of the road and carried everything to the clinic. It took me 10 minutes to walk and so I arrived late.

“Other people are arriving late too and patients are missing appointments, but hopefully it will calm down and people will be better prepared as the week goes on.”

Driver AJ Weir met problems travelling from Lincolnshire to King’s Lynn.

She said: “This is going to be a long four weeks of suffering. Looks like I’ll be leaving at 6.30 from now on then. Literally moving four spaces at a time.”

Journalist Nigel Chapman, who was travelling from Lincolnshire to King’s Lynn, this morning found a queue stretching back three miles on the Norfolk side.

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