Changes afoot at hub of resort

RADICAL changes are set to be made to Felixstowe town centre to improve road safety as part of a £100,000 spending spree.Highways engineers are designing three key schemes for accident blackspot junctions where campaigners have been calling for action for several years.

By Richard Cornwell

RADICAL changes are set to be made to Felixstowe town centre to improve road safety as part of a £100,000 spending spree.

Highways engineers are designing three key schemes for accident blackspot junctions where campaigners have been calling for action for several years.

There have been 20 injury accidents – most involving pedestrians or cyclists – at the junctions in the past three years.

Town councillors have been told of the projects and are now waiting to see the detailed designs.

The schemes will involve:

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n Putting traffic lights at Railway Approach-High Road West junction

n New zebra crossing at apex of The Triangle, Hamilton Road

n Traffic lights outside cinema at Crescent Road-Cobbold Road junction

Felixstowe highways advisory committee – a joint town-county council group – was told there the schemes would be completed before the end of the financial year and would cost £45,000.

In addition, a long-awaited layby would be put in outside Blockbusters video rental shop in Crescent Road, footpaths in Ferry Lane, Brook lane and O'Feld Terrace would be improved, pedestrian finger-post signs upgraded, new bus shelters provided, and dropped kerbs put in some roads.

Design work would also take place for a major traffic scheme at Undercliff Road West-Convalescent Hill-Wolsey Gardens.

Total cost of the schemes to be done this year would be £104,000.

Felixstowe Safety Committee has been calling for action at High Road West-Railway Approach for many years and believed it would only happen if a public transport interchange was built as part of an industrial development.

The junction is access to the station and superstores' car parks, next to the fire station and a petrol station, opposite a school and police station, and has been getting busier and busier. There have been six injury accidents in three years

Town clerk Susan Robinson said councillors were thrilled that a safety scheme had at last been agreed.

Councillors were told it will include cycle lanes, safe crossings for pedestrians, and the fire station will have a button to override the lights in emergencies.

In the town centre, the new zebra will be positioned outside The Purple Shop, an area where there have been six injury accidents in three years.

Meanwhile, the cinema junction – scene of eight injury accidents – will at last see traffic lights.

The junction is notorious because vehicles turning right into Cobbold Road in both directions have to cross in front of each other instead of behind. This catches out many drivers and has led to crashes.

The junction – used by schoolchildren going to and from Deben High – will have pedestrian priority lights and cycle lanes. The installation of lights will also mean the zebra outside the library is removed.

Mrs Robinson said councillor were waiting to see detailed designs to see how the junction will work and had asked for it to be considered by the town centre management group along with the new zebra and Blockbusters layby.

WEBLINKS: www.felixstowe.gov.uk

www.suffolkcc.gov.uk

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