Dockspur safety demands rejected

DEMANDS for major safety work at Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur junction have been rejected out of hand, it was revealed today.

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DEMANDS for major safety work at Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur junction have been rejected out of hand, it was revealed today.

Highways chiefs have dismissed campaigners' claims that engineering works should be done immediately – and say they will press ahead this autumn with more new signs and paintwork to slow lorries down.

But town councillors were today warning that they would not give up their campaign for proper improvements to stop juggernauts flipping over as they come round the A14 junction.

Route administrator for the Highways Agency, Janet Adkins also rejected councillors' calls for the give way signs to be put back on the exit from the Port of Felixstowe Road following two crashes this summer.

She said putting back the give way lines and abolishing the dedicated left turn lane would mean long tailbacks to the port and more shunt-type accidents.

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The agency would be looking at some alterations to the curve of the lane.

"We are not convinced, however, that the design of the roundabout is the sole reason that these incidents are occurring and have recently had meetings with the port, police and Road Haulage Association," she said.

"We have asked the RHA to assist with educating hauliers about loading vehicles and asked the police to investigate all overturning incidents to determine the cause of them, as it initially appears that the design of the roundabout is not the predominant factor in them."

But town councillors believe the roundabout is the problem – and want traffic heading for the town and port to be separated to prevent another lorry rolling over onto a car, as happened when motorist Martin O'Sullivan was killed.

Councillor Andy Smith said: "We must not let the Highways Agency blur the issue and we must stick to our own agenda, otherwise we are beaten.

"These lorries do not fall over at Seven Hills, or Copdock, or the A1-M25 junction or at Wellingborough – they fall over at Felixstowe. If they were poorly loaded they would have fallen over somewhere before here."

There have been 18 accidents in six years of lorries rolling over or shedding their loads at the A14 junction – and four incidents in the past six months.

Highways chiefs insist there is no problem with the roundabout and the crashes are down to driver error, faulty vehicles and poor loading.

They are proposing this autumn to spend around £35,000 on the roundabout to change some road markings, paint 20mph advisory lorry speed limits on the carriageway and add some new signs.