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Dock spur rethink urged

PUBLISHED: 11:05 18 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

HIGHWAYS chiefs are being urged to rethink plans to cure problems of shunts and minor accidents at Felixstowe's notorious dock spur roundabout.

While campaigners work to get a major safety scheme to stop lorries overturning at the deathtrap junction, it is also hoped to solve another problem.

HIGHWAYS chiefs are being urged to rethink plans to cure problems of shunts and minor accidents at Felixstowe's notorious dock spur roundabout.

While campaigners work to get a major safety scheme to stop lorries overturning at the deathtrap junction, it is also hoped to solve another problem.

Although minor compared with the juggernauts flipping over, the non-injury accidents which occur at the A14 junction are far more common.

Problems centre on traffic leaving Candlet Road, Felixstowe, to head for Ipswich, and the difficulty in seeing vehicles – many of them lorries – coming from Ipswich and turning right to the Port of Felixstowe.

Drivers find that they have to look over their shoulder and almost behind them to see oncoming vehicles.

This has led to many accidents where drivers have stopped suddenly when seeing a port-bound lorry or car emerging and the car behind has gone into the back of them.

The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) have analysed the problem for the Highways Agency and Suffolk County Council and suggested some measures which might make the situation safer.

But town councillors are not convinced that the proposals will work – and are asking the TRL and the agency to think again.

The TRL suggests that the problems are caused because drivers approaching the roundabout from Candlet Road have a good view of traffic coming round the roundabout – and then assume traffic in front will move onto the junction.

The researchers suggest the solution is to erect a large barrier – possibly two enormous chevron signs – to prevent drivers from seeing the traffic situation in advance and forcing them to slow down and stop.

But town councillors – at least two of whom have been caught in shunt accidents – believe the proposal will not work and feel their idea of realigning the Candlet Road exit is the best answer.

"I think the TRL idea will increase congestion because more people will be slowing down and stopping, and perhaps even increase the shunt accidents," said town councillor, Andy Smith.

The council is building a case for action as the county council is likely to be the one which carries out the work. It is appealing to drivers who have been involved in shunt accidents at the junction to let the town council at the Town Hall, Undercliff Road West, Felixstowe, have details of what happened, so they can be added to the dossier.

WEBLINK www.felixstowe.gov.uk


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