Major work considered for dock spur

MAJOR safety work is today being considered to ensure Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur roundabout can take one million extra lorries a year.But for many campaigners the suggested changes to the A14 junction will not go far enough – and some still believe the only answer is an overpass.

MAJOR safety work is today being considered to ensure Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur roundabout can take one million extra lorries a year.

But for many campaigners the suggested changes to the A14 junction will not go far enough – and some still believe the only answer is an overpass.

A series of proposals have been drawn up by experts who say major modifications will be needed if Felixstowe port expands.

Owners of the container terminal want to double its capacity by redeveloping its southern area to create new berths for the world's biggest ships.

But that will mean by 2023 there will be another one million lorry journeys on the Felixstowe peninsula every year, generating fears of more accidents.

In the past six years there have been 20 incidents of trucks rolling over or shedding their loads. In the worst motorist Martin O'Sullivan was killed when an articulated lorry landed on top of his car and crushed it flat.

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Parish councillors have been shown ideas for improving safety at the dock spur if the port gets the go-ahead for its multi-million pound scheme, and are now calling a special meeting.

Trimley St Martin Parish Council is arranging a meeting of all parish councils – Felixstowe Town Council is also invited – to talk about their next moves.

The suggested improvements will include changes to the entrances to the roundabout, altering the road alignment to create a sharper entrance and force traffic to slow. There would also be three entry lanes at each approach.

Work would include a "ghost separation" island, markings on the road, to keep port-bound traffic away from cars heading into Felixstowe town.

The roundabout itself would be made round, visibility improved, the left filter lane for traffic from the port heading towards Ipswich removed, and more warning signs put in place.

The port development will phased and it is not yet known at what stage the Highways Agency would require work at the roundabout.

Consultants say the port expansion would generate 3,000 to 3,400 more lorry movements per day by 2023 – bringing the total number of HGV movements per day connected with the port to more than 9,000.

Of the 5.6 million standard-sized boxes the port will handle, 26 per cent will go by rail and 24pc will be transhipped – never leaving the port and simply arriving to be shipped out on other vessels to their final destination.

In addition there will be around 4.26 million other vehicle movements each year on the dock spur.

Felixstowe councillor Ann Rodwell told planners that council officers, Euro MPs and the port owners should make a concerted effort to get proper action at the junction.

"All this tinkering around at the roundabout is wasting time and money. We really need to go for the big job and get it done – it was designed in the first place to one day have an overpass," she said.

n Do you think an overpass is the answer at the dock spur roundabout? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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