Highways bosses determined to close gap

HIGHWAYS chiefs said today they were determined to close a central reservation gap in a busy Felixstowe road where a pensioner was killed in a crash with a lorry.

HIGHWAYS chiefs said today they were determined to close a central reservation gap in a busy Felixstowe road where a pensioner was killed in a crash with a lorry.

Objections have delayed closure of the gap in Trinity Avenue – originally proposed five years ago – and negotiations have failed to find a suitable safety solution.

But officers said today that some interim safety work would now take place to try to warn drivers, who go the wrong way down one-way Anzani Avenue to reach the gap, of the dangers.

Terrence Warham, 80, of Cardinals Court, Felixstowe, died on August 11 after pulling out onto dual carriageway Trinity Avenue and into the path of a HGV.

It is a manoeuvre dozens of drivers perform every day in a bid to avoid going up the A14 or the trip around the Parker Avenue Business Park to get back to the port or town after leaving the BP Anzani petrol station's entrance, which has clear "no exit" signs .

Rod Sore, traffic and safety engineer at Suffolk County Council, said: "The issue of the gap in Trinity Avenue is one that we have been looking at for a few years.

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"We have been trying to progress closing the gap for some time but have met with objections and have been looking at alternative ideas to resolve the safety issue.

"BP have in the past objected to the closure due to the possible affect on their garage and have suggested an alternative scheme which we have severe reservations about.

"We have agreed an interim safety scheme with BP which would entail putting some clear worded road markings on their forecourt warning people not to use Anzani Avenue to try and access Trinity Avenue from the petrol station. This will be done as soon as possible.

"We have met with the police at the accident site and we still intend to pursue the closure of the gap."

At the inquest into Mr Warham's death, Dr Peter Dean, Greater Suffolk coroner, recorded a verdict of accidental death and said he would also be urging the county council to take safety action.

"I will ask that their consideration of these matters be expedited, being as this appears to be a potentially problematic area. Clearly, it's of great importance that the matter be looked at as soon as possible," he said.

BP has offered to pay towards safety improvements at the site and has paid for consultants to draw up a scheme. It would like to see traffic lights at the junction to allow the gap to remain open.

John Gummer, Suffolk Coastal MP, said the authorities "have not taken seriously the dangers in this particular part of Felixstowe".

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