A12 death gap must close now!

PUBLISHED: 13:49 05 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

SIX months ago, much-loved elderly couple Edward and Emily Bishopp were killed in an horrific crash at this gap on the A12 – but today the killer gap is still not closed.

SIX months ago, much-loved elderly couple Edward and Emily Bishopp were killed in an horrific crash at this gap on the A12 – but today the killer gap is still not closed.

Highways chiefs have pledged that the notoriously dangerous opening in the dual carriageway's central reservation will be sealed, but campaigners live with the fear that every day it remains open someone else could die.

Today safety chiefs again vowed that the killer gap would be shut … but they could not say when.

Their original comments led everyone to believe it would have been closed at least temporarily to prevent further accidents by mid-April.

Parish councillors, local residents, and The Evening Star have been campaigning for action and all believe the gap should be closed NOW.

Mr and Mrs Bishopp died when their car was in collision with a lorry at the gap in the A12 at Brightwell, near to the turning for Foxhall, in December last year.

Mr Bishopp, 74, a retired chartered accountant, and his wife, 73, who lived in Melton, were travelling in their blue Honda Accord when it crashed with a coal lorry that was going across the road from a gap in the central reservation.

The gap at Kennels Lane enables drivers to make a right turn onto the busy dual carriageway out of the side road, but they have to cross four lanes of fast-moving traffic.

Campaigners argue there is no need for the gap between the Foxhall roundabout and the Seven Hills interchange to remain and motorists would just have to put up with a detour to either roundabout to make their turn.

Today Suffolk County Council's transport department, which has taken over responsibility for this section of road from the Highways Agency, said work was under way on the closure.

Traffic safety manager David Chenery said: "It is still the county council's wish to close the central reservation gap at the earliest possible time.

"We are in communication with some parties who could be affected by this move in order to take on board their views."

Mr Chenery said the consultation exercise was part of a number of procedures which had to be gone through in order to close the gap.

Orders will also have to be made to ensure the county council complies will all necessary legislation.

Once these formalities have been gone through, contractors will carry out the work.

No timetable could be given at this stage but it was being progressed as quickly as possible.

When the gaps were closed on the A14 on the Felixstowe peninsula after a series of fatal crashes, highways authorities had to provide a new route for those people left "cut off" and with long detours. A track along a farm field was provided and then a £500,000 link road built.

Mr and Mrs Bishopp, who had been married 56 years, were well-known in their local community. They were very involved in local charity and voluntary work.

Their relatives have also pledged support for the campaign to close the gap and say it is essential no-one else dies because of vehicles turning right onto such a busy stretch of road.

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