Close eye to be kept on truckstop
A CLOSE eye is today being kept on the operation of an A14 truckstop to make sure it does not deliberately attract customers. Following a public inquiry, the Orwell Crossing at Nacton is now allowed to serve car drivers as well as truckers - but has been told it must not advertise its restaurant and deliberately attract visitors, only serving those already on the road.
A CLOSE eye is today being kept on the operation of an A14 truckstop to make sure it does not deliberately attract customers.
Following a public inquiry, the Orwell Crossing at Nacton is now allowed to serve car drivers as well as truckers - but has been told it must not advertise its restaurant and deliberately attract visitors, only serving those already on the road.
And Suffolk Coastal officers said they will be monitoring how this works.
Ivan Jowers, chairman of the south area development control sub-committee said: “The owners of the café had appealed against a decision by this council.
“My committee at that stage had no choice but to follow the advice of the Highways Agency and refuse to lift the planning conditions that insisted that only lorry drivers could use the facilities at the Orwell Crossing.
“The inspector, Michael Ellison, has now overturned our original decision but in his report and his new conditions he has made it clear that this is a facility that is solely meant for users of the A14, rather than the general public at large.”
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When AE Rout and Sons were originally granted permission for the Orwell Crossing lorry park five years ago it was said it would be only for lorry drivers because of concerns of the Highways Agency over increasing use of the dual carriageway and safety.
In his report, Mr Ellison said: “Inviting the public at large … (would) be contrary to national policy. It would add unnecessary traffic to the trunk road.
“I am not prepared to accept conditions which facilitate general public use by drivers who would not otherwise be using the A14.”
However, he felt it was acceptable for any motorists already on the A14 to use the site.
He has banned all advertising of the site in newspapers, leaflets, internet and other means, other than as a lorry park and motorists' rest area.
The owners also need to provide 45 car parking spaces and three bays for coaches.
Truckstop owner Karl Rout is delighted at the public inquiry result.
He said: “I am very pleased for the staff because it gives them a peace of mind about their jobs and they have been very worried.”
“Although this is an important stopping place for lorry drivers, we could not survive with them alone and we needed other motorists to make it viable.”
Are you please the Orwell Crossing has won its case? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk