ROADWORKS have forced a florist into a 13 mile detour in order to deliver to one of his regular customers - two miles away.

Phil Suarez, who runs Jennifleurs, in St Christopher Road, Colchester, has warned the Ipswich Road works could bring the town to a halt if urgent action is not taken.

Mr Suarez’s drivers regularly delivers to East of England Co-op Funeral Services, in Wimpole Road.

But as a result of the long queues going southbound in Ipswich Road, he and his drivers are now opting to take a 13-mile detour, which sees them:

  •  driving northbound in Ipswich Road to join the A12 at the Ardleigh Crown junction,
  • travelling west to junction 26 at Stanway,
  • making their way back into Colchester along Lexden Road.

Mr Suarez said: “If we’re doing this, think of how many other people are spending so much longer on the roads to get to where they are going.

“For us, it obviously means higher fuel costs but thinking about it even environmentally, that’s quite bad.


“During rush hours, there are now queues of traffic all through St John’s as people try to miss get around the roadworks.

“There are times I’ve seen cars there for an hour, not moving and they’re just pumping out.”

READ MORE: This is why the Ipswich Road works will take so long

Mr Suarez added: “I think the biggest issue is the timeframe which has been set. I think people could probably cope if we were talking two or three months - then it would be a small inconvenience.

“But it’s not; it’s almost two years this will be in place and that’s a big problem.

“You could think the council would recognise the impact it was going to have and thrown a bit of money at it.

“In terms of cost, it might not even be much more because you’d be cutting the timescale of the work.”

Kevin Bentley, Essex county councillor responsible for infrastructure, has defended the timescale of the project.

He said: “The improvement scheme is complicated by the need to move utility pipes and cables, strengthen walls and work only on part of the road to keep one lane open throughout.


“The scheme has to be done in phases, so some work to widen lanes can only be done after utility services have been moved.

“We are constantly talking with the main contractor to see where any traffic management can be improved or where there are opportunities to finish in as short a time as possible.”

“We greatly appreciate the patience shown by road users who understand that for safe working and safe driving we must have the barriers in place.”

A petition for the scheme to be completed sooner has reached 4,000 signatures.