Calls for A12 traffic action

URGENT action is today needed to tackle disruption on the A12, transport bosses have insisted after a day of misery for commuters.

URGENT action is today needed to tackle disruption on the A12, transport bosses have insisted after a day of misery for commuters.

The main road was blocked in one direction for nearly 12 hours at Kelvedon in Essex yesterday after a lorry jack-knifed, on a day rail travellers were also left stranded.

It was the latest in a string of problems that have hit the road over recent months and, with the A12 set to get even busier through housing growth, there have been calls for an urgent upgrade.

Norman Hume, Essex County Council's highways chief, has written to the government to demand a meeting to discuss the issue.

Guy McGregor, of Suffolk County Council, said: “It's a fact that there's less money spent in this region than any other region. Obviously, this region does suffer from a lack of investment in transport infrastructure, both roads and rail.”

The A12 at Kelvedon was closed yesterday after a jack-knifed lorry and a spilled load of stones blocked the road as it travelled towards Felixstowe.

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The chaos was worsened by the partial closure of the A120, near the village of Bradwell, which blocked nearly all traffic from the north-east of Essex heading southbound.

A crash between a car and a lorry on the notorious Haughley bends caused delays on the A14 from 11.30am to 1pm.

Nobody at the Highways Agency was available for comment today, but earlier said it “continuously monitored” the road network and was committed to improving safety and journey time reliability.

There were also delays on the M25.

The day of road delays was compounded by severe problems on the rail network, caused by a fallen tree taking down power overhead cables at Ingatestone and a signal box fire at London Liverpool Street.

Peter Meades, spokesman for One Railway, said: “The majority of the problems that occurred were outside our control, the day started with the problems at Liverpool Street and then we had a few trees that came down near Chelmsford and Southend so the combinations of those things all occurring in a short space of time made for a difficult day.”

The spokesman said they were expecting to run a normal service throughout the weekend after, at one stage yesterday, passengers were told not to attempt to travel to London.

Two container terminals were closed for most of the day at the Port of Felixstowe as there were high winds.The Languard and Trinity terminals at the container port closed at 6am and reopened at about 2.30pm.

Paul Davey, at the Port of Felixstowe, said: “It happens at intervals when we are subject to high winds and we have these procedures in place because it's unsafe to leave the container terminals open if the wind blows at more than 45mph.”

N Were you affected by Friday's travel chaos? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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