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Killer roundabout campaign strives on

PUBLISHED: 20:46 22 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:54 03 March 2010

CAMPAIGNERS are today stepping up their fight for safety improvements at Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur junction – and urging the public to get behind them.

CAMPAIGNERS are today stepping up their fight for safety improvements at Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur junction – and urging the public to get behind them.

They are deeply unhappy with the measures taken so far – believing signs and lines will not be enough to prevent another fatal accident – and concerned at the delay in doing other work.

Town councillors are now to put more pressure on the Highways Agency and insist a major scheme is carried out to separate town and port traffic at the A14 roundabout, where 19 lorries have rolled over or shed their loads in six years.

In the worst, motorist Martin O'Sullivan was killed when an articulated lorry landed on top of his car and crushed it flat.

Councillor Ann Rodwell, who led the successful campaign for the Trimley A14 underpass in the 1980s, said: "We must not give up.

"We must keep on persevering. I found when I was involved with the Trimley interchange campaign that you can win – you need to get every member of the community behind you and keep on and on at the Highways Agency.

"Eventually they will give way, but you need everyone behind you."

The agency has spent £30,000 this year on changing road markings and putting up signs, but is trying to avoid structural works.

"We were shown three options for a major scheme, we chose one and put forward our views on the scheme we thought would ameliorate the problem, but nothing has happened," said councillor Andy Smith.

"We were only talking about £300,000 for the preferred scheme."

Councillor Mike Ninnmey said it was "quite bizarre" that the A14, a trans-European route, featured an accident blackspot where traffic was forced to slow down to 20mph and called for European cash to help with the work.

"When this roundabout was built, the port was handling 500,000 containers a year – within 18 months or so this could well be five million," he said.

"That's a ten-fold increase of traffic at this junction and it makes the risk to our residents using it far greater, too. It needs changes to cope with the increase."

Councillor Mike Stokell was convinced the only answer was a flyover to take the port traffic across the junction.

In a letter to the council's finance and general purposes committee, Highways Agency route manager Roger Chenery denied "little action" had been taken.

"There have been further improvements made to the road markings and measures implemented to prevent nose to tail shunts at the Candlet Road entry," he said.

"We are also continuing work here 'in the background' to introduce other methods of reducing vehicle speeds such as the vehicle activated signing.

"As has been stated previously, this particular measure will take time to implement, as it is technology-based and requires careful planning and designing to ensure its success."

n What do you think – is a major safety scheme needed at the dock spur? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk


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