New look for old A45

IT'S the shape of things to come.Lorries not parked on the busy A14, but all lined up across the fields on the old A45 - a striking sight for motorists passing by.

IT'S the shape of things to come.

Lorries not parked on the busy A14, but all lined up across the fields on the old A45 - a striking sight for motorists passing by.

In the future when gales batter Suffolk, this will be where the trucks have to park up and wait until the Port of Felixstowe re-opens.

But does the new site for Operation Stack - used as a final measure yesterday after all the yards, port areas and space on the A14 at Felixstowe was used up - work?

While it may remove problems of congestion suffered around Felixstowe and in the twin Trimley villages, it is not finding favour with everyone.

Villagers at Stratton Hall and Levington say it severely restricted access to their homes and businesses and they are angry they have not yet been consulted, even though the proposals have been discussed since June last year.

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One business - commercial chandlers EYE Co Ltd - said they lost most of a day's business because parking the lorries meant they were cut off.

Manager Rod Lawrence said he and four staff trying to get to work had been refused access to the old A45 at the Felixstowe Road turning, near the Seven Hills interchange, and been sent through Nacton and Levington.

Once they got over the Stratton Hall railway crossing they found there was a police roadblock barring them from reaching their premises, known as The Gunshed.

“The police did let us through then but effectively we were cut off and our customers could not get to us while Operation Stack was running,” said Mr Lawrence.

“What I was upset about is that we were not informed this was going to happen and not forewarned - no-one from the port or the other authorities has been to see us to talk about it and we have had no correspondence.

“At the end of the day it was not so bad for staff because we could go round the back road and they did let us through, but we couldn't have lorries coming here going round the country roads.

“They need to think about their plan because this is going to be the main site for the lorries and we could be affected quite often. The port is causing the problem and I think it needs to find more off-road parking, especially with its expansion coming up.”

Putting the lorries on the old A45 certainly kept traffic running smoothly around Felixstowe - even though the outside lane on both carriageways of the Port of Felixstowe Road was filled with lorries.

By mid-afternoon the port was open again and managed to quickly deal with the backlog of trucks.

Officials say one of the advantages of using Levington will be bringing in portable facilities for drivers, including food and toilets. Some drivers had been without these for 24 hours.

Is Levington the best site to park the lorries? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail