Days numbered for danger gaps

ACTION to close an A12 right-turn gap where three people have died in horrific accidents is today another step nearer.County councillors want to prevent further fatal crashes and have agreed to press ahead with plans to prevent vehicles using the sideroads leading to the dual carriageway at Foxhall.

ACTION to close an A12 right-turn gap where three people have died in horrific accidents is today another step nearer.

County councillors want to prevent further fatal crashes and have agreed to press ahead with plans to prevent vehicles using the sideroads leading to the dual carriageway at Foxhall.

All vehicles will be banned from the junctions - except motorists with a right of access, who will need special permits to use the roads.

It is hoped this will lead to a minimum number of people using the gap in the central reservation until a public inquiry is held to formally close it.

An inquiry could result in compensation payments because of objections from people with a right of access through the gap - though no protests have been voiced by residents of Kennels Road, the sideroad each side of the A12.

Three years ago much-loved Melton couple Edward and Pamela Bishopp were killed when their car was in collision with a coal lorry at the gap in the central reservation.

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But they were not the first to die at the spot.

In the 20 years since the dual carriageway opened, three people have died, four have been seriously injured and five slightly hurt in accidents between vehicles on the A12 and pulling out of the side junctions or turning right through the gap.

The Evening Star launched a campaign to close the gap and parish councillors have warned that every day it remains open there is the risk of another death.

Suffolk County Council's executive committee has now approved a prohibition of driving order for Kennels Road.

All drivers will be banned from using the access onto the A12 except farmers and three householders, who will receive permits, removing the "unacceptably high" risk of an accident with the A12's 30,000 vehicles a day.

Surveys have revealed that around 76 vehicles a day currently use the junctions.

Gates at the junctions which have not been used for many years would be brought back into use with permit holders having keys.

"Kennels Road was only ever intended to be used as access to land severed by the A12 dual carriageway and gates were provided to limit use as a general highway," said a report to councillors.

"The need for traffic to slow down in order to carry out turning manoeuvres results in significant conflicts with fast-moving A12 traffic."

n What do you think of the safety idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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