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European edition, Tuesday, May 1, 2007

RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Servicemembers and their families living in an on-base housing area here will have to drive off base during peak travel times to get to base services as a new traffic pattern comes into effect.

Beginning Tuesday, motorists leaving the Anglo housing area from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 to 7 p.m. will have to take a left off of Radcliffe Road, a route that takes them immediately off base, according to the 48th Fighter Wing public affairs office.

All base services are in the other direction.

Currently, Radcliffe Road is the only route out of the housing area — all other exits have been blocked by construction of new Liberty Village housing units.

To get back onto post, drivers have to go several hundred yards to get to the back gate, Gate 2, and get pointed in the right direction to reach the base exchange, commissary, gas station, schools and other facilities.

“I think it’s inconvenient, but you have to do what you have to do,” said Michelle Wess, a spouse who lives in the affected neighborhood.

The no-turn times correspond to the drop-off and pick-up times at Lakenheath schools, making it a potential nuisance for parents who drive their children to and from school, another resident of the housing area said.

The no-right-turn policy was implemented “to reduce congestion during the busy periods at this junction,” according to the 48th Fighter Wing’s Web site.

Civil engineering officials were not available Friday or Monday to talk about the traffic changes.

Likewise, officials were not available to provide details on an upcoming relocation of Gate 2 near the Radcliffe turn on Lords Walk, the road that leads into the base from the back gate.

In a second posting on the 48th Fighter Wing’s Web site, public affairs officials published a notice saying the land on which the current gate is located — outside the perimeter fence — is held on a lease that expires in August.

Work on a new entry point on Lords Walk will begin this month, with an expected completion date in November, the notice reads. Inbound traffic will be rerouted via a left turn onto Exeter Crescent, while outbound traffic will continue to use Lords Walk, the posting reads.

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