High winds close port

PORT officials expect Britain's biggest container terminal to be closed for much of today as gale-force winds batter the county.Hauliers due to visit Felixstowe were given ample notice of the problems expected - with gusts expected to hit 50 or 60mph.

PORT officials expect Britain's biggest container terminal to be closed for much of today as gale-force winds batter the county.

Hauliers due to visit Felixstowe were given ample notice of the problems expected - with gusts expected to hit 50 or 60mph.

Once speeds reach 45mph, quayside cranes have to shut down for safety reasons.

Messages were sent out to companies across the country yesterday afternoon warning them that the weather forecast would “cause severe disruption” to quayside, container storage park and rail operations between 3am and 10pm.


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“With the current forecast, we do not expect any container handling operations to take place for most of the daylight period,” said head of corporate affairs Paul Davey today.

This morning the port was closed and also rail and container yard operations suspended.

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Access to operational areas was being restricted and vehicles and staff kept away from quaysides until it was safe.

Port officials said it was also likely Operation Stack may be put in place and reminded truckers to queue in the right hand lane approaching the dock spur roundabout to alleviate congestion and be ready to park-up on the A14 Port of Felixstowe Road.

The new system for Operation Stack - which will involve lorries parking up on the old A45 at Levington - does not come into force until March 1, so the current rules still apply.

About 250 lorries will be parked on the port, yards have some 1,000 spaces for their own trucks, and others will then queue on the dual carriageway until the port re-opens.

The biggest problems though may come tomorrow when the port re-opens and tries to deal with a backlog of lorries.

Keep up to date with travel problems on the road and rail by logging on to the Evening Star website www.eveningstar.co.uk

Give us your views on Operation Stack - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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