Concern over flashing lights for lorries

HIGHWAYS chiefs say truckers' response to new flashing warning signs urging them to cut their speed at a deathtrap roundabout is “extremely encouraging”.

HIGHWAYS chiefs say truckers' response to new flashing warning signs urging them to cut their speed at a deathtrap roundabout is “extremely encouraging”.

But community leaders are still concerned and have questioned why almost all lorries using Felixstowe's dock spur junction - notorious for juggernauts overturning - still cause the signs to flash if speeds are now slower.

The vehicle-activated signs on the Felixstowe-bound A14 carriageway have now been in place a year while those on the Port of Felixstowe Road, Ipswich-bound, have been installed six months.

Earlier this year the Highways Agency said the signs on the Felixstowe-bound side were not having as much impact as when they were first installed and feared drivers were getting used to them and taking less notice.


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The sign activates if the truck is doing more than 38mph at 100m from the roundabout. A new report says most drivers are now in the 21 to 25mph bracket.

A few more than previously are now doing 31 to 35mph, but this is not excessive and remains much lower than before the signs were introduced.

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A14 route manager Roger Chenery said in the other direction speeds were also down, and the results were all “extremely encouraging”.

But Felixstowe councillor Doreen Savage said her experience of approaching the roundabout was that every lorry seemed to activate the sign.

She told councillors: “As I come down there you can see it flashing for every lorry - it never seems not to activate - so I cannot understand this latest report.”

Councillor Andy Smith feared that the speed at which the sign activated was wrong - lorry drivers who knew the junction well could easily negotiate the roundabout at higher speeds and so were ignoring the sign, which was a waste of time at its present setting.

In the past seven years there have been 21 incidents of trucks rolling over or shedding their loads at the junction. In 2001 motorist Martin O'Sullivan was killed when a lorry landed on his car.

Do you think the flashing signs make lorries slow down? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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