More delays in gaps campaign

IT will be at least three-and-a-half years since a much-loved couple were killed in an horrific crash before safety work is done to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.

IT will be at least three-and-a-half years since a much-loved couple were killed in an horrific crash before safety work is done to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.

Objections to the scheme to effectively close the gap in the A12 where Edward and Pamela Bishopp died have forced fresh delays to the project.

It had been hoped work would be starting by now, but because of the protests it looks as if councillors will be asked to decide if the safety scheme should take place – and that will not be until the New Year.

If they over-rule the objections and give the go-ahead, work on the scheme's design will be completed and it would then be done about four months after that.


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But today – 18 months after highways chiefs pledged to make it safer – lorries can still make dangerous right-turns across fast-moving traffic on the dual carriageway at Brightwell.

Parish councillors are increasingly frustrated the gap has not been closed and have warned that every day it remains open there is the risk of another death.

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The Evening Star launched a campaign to have the gap in the central reservation closed and the county council admits action is desperately needed, but the wheels of bureacracy – unlike the A12 traffic – grind extremely slowly.

The solution proposed to stop virtually all vehicles using the gap involves placing new locked gates in Kennels Road at the crossroads which forms the last place the road can be entered on the west side of the A12, while old existing gates will be locked at the A12 junction.

Only the residents of three houses on the east part of Kennels Road and two farmers will have keys to unlock the gates.

But a county council spokeswoman said there had been objections to the traffic order published in the summer.

"A report is now being written and the matter will go to the rights of way sub committee and also the executive committee, but that will not probably be until after Christmas," she said.

Originally it had been hoped that if there were objections which could not be solved councillors would review the situation in August and work start in late autumn. It is understood officers are trying to negotiate with the objectors, as they have been during the whole bid to find a solution.

Highways chiefs are confident gates will remove all of the danger and leave the gap, used by vehicles to head for Seven Hills or Foxhall, is virtually unused.

The gap cannot be closed because it is still a public right of way. The council will have to ensure a bridleway – large enough for a horse but not a small car – and footpath is kept open next to the gates.

Retired chartered accountant Mr Bishopp, 74, and his wife, 73, of Melton, were travelling in their Honda Accord when it crashed with a coal lorry going across the road from the gap.

n What do you think of the delay? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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