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Gap in A12 to be closed

PUBLISHED: 20:37 12 October 2001 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 March 2010

HIGHWAYS chiefs are preparing to close the gap on the A12 where a much-loved elderly couple were killed in a horrific crash, it was revealed today.

Parish councillors have become increasingly concerned that the notoriously dangerous opening in the dual carriageway's central reservation is still open -nine months since the fatal accident.

HIGHWAYS chiefs are preparing to close the gap on the A12 where a much-loved elderly couple were killed in a horrific crash, it was revealed today.

Parish councillors have become increasingly concerned that the notoriously dangerous opening in the dual carriageway's central reservation is still open –nine months since the fatal accident.

They had warned that every day it remains open, someone else could die.

But Suffolk County Council – which manages the part of the A12 which runs through Brightwell, Foxhall and Martlesham – said today that it is now intended to carry out a temporary closure of the gap early in the New Year.

It is understood that closure may involve some other engineering works in order to enable farm vehicles to have the access around the area that they need.

Tractors and other machinery are the biggest users of the gap at Brightwell and talks have been held with farmers over the past few months.

Traffic safety manager at the council, David Chenery told The Evening Star today: "Plans to close the A12 reservation gap are progressing.

"The county council is working with a specialist consultancy to design the necessary changes to the road.

"It is intended that work to install a temporary closure of the gap will start early next year.

"At that stage, traffic flows and the farm vehicles will be monitored before a decision is made to make the closure permanent.

"Throughout this period we are informing the local residents, farmers and parish councils of the project as it develops."

There was an outcry when Melton couple Edward and Pamela Bishopp were killed when their car was in collision with a lorry at the gap in the A12.

It was hoped then that immediate temporary closure to prevent further accidents would be done but this has proved difficult because of farm access.

Mr Bishopp, 74, a retired chartered accountant, and his wife, 73, were travelling in their blue Honda Accord when it crashed with a coal lorry that was going across the road from a gap in the central reservation. Mr and Mrs Bishopp, who had been married 56 years, were well-known in their local community. They were very involved in local charity and voluntary work.

The gap at Kennels Lane enables drivers to make a right turn onto the busy dual carriageway out of the side road, but they have to cross four lanes of fast-moving traffic while moving quite slowly.

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