Better but still some way to go

NEW proposals to improve safety at the notorious dock spur roundabout on the edge of Felixstowe do not go far enough to protect car drivers from juggernauts.

NEW proposals to improve safety at the notorious dock spur roundabout on the edge of Felixstowe do not go far enough to protect car drivers from juggernauts.

That's the concern today of campaigners who fear another similar accident to the one which killed motorist Martin O'Sullivan could still happen even if the major work suggested is carried out at the A14 junction.

Experts have designed a scheme which will see traffic lights placed around the roundabout, which will be re-shaped.

And both its entry points - towards Felixstowe and en route to Ipswich - would become three lanes to cope with the one million extra lorries the redevelopment of Felixstowe port will generate each year.


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Highways chiefs say the work at the junction - which currently handles 2.2 million lorries a year - should improve safety and at least ensure congestion and traffic flows are no worse than at present.

The work will be paid for by the Port of Felixstowe.

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However, there is concern that the design does not create a big enough separation between port and town traffic.

There will be markings on the road to keep the lanes apart - but town councillors want enough space between them so that if a lorry rolls over it will not fall on to a car and crush it, as happened before.

Former mayor Andy Smith said: "This design fails to address the overturning issue.

"Even with the traffic signals, if they were green from Ipswich there would be no need to stop, pause or look right - no need for caution or slowing down at all and straight on to the roundabout."

It would mean lorries at times entering the roundabout at speed - two lanes of trucks instead of one, with cars heading for the town next to them.

"There is hatching between them but not much width. The separation between the traffic needs to be increased to keep town-bound traffic apart and avoid the situation we had before," said Mr Smith.

Town clerk Susan Robinson felt there was still time to discuss the details of the project - which will only go ahead if government grants permission for the port expansion - and negotiate some changes.

In the past seven years there have been 21 incidents of trucks rolling over or shedding their loads at the junction.

Flashing speed signs have been put up by monitoring has shown the one on the Felixstowe-bound carriageway had had an initial impact in slowing lorries, but in the past three months drivers had got used to it and were taking less notice.

Have lorries cut their speed at the dock spur - what's your experience? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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