New signs to warn when Port is closed
WORK is set to start this weekend on a stand for a mobile message sign on the A14 near Felixstowe to warn truckers when the port is closed.Road conditions returned to normal around Felixstowe port today with lorries able to access the port again following its closure because of strong winds.
By Richard Cornwell
WORK is set to start this weekend on a stand for a mobile message sign on the A14 near Felixstowe to warn truckers when the port is closed.
Road conditions returned to normal around Felixstowe port today with lorries able to access the port again following its closure because of strong winds.
Operation Stack was said to have been run successfully, though at its height late yesterday morning there were hundreds of lorries parked up in queues on both carriageways of the A14.
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Drivers were eventually able to get on the move again just after midday as the port re-opened.
As the queues began to move, many more trucks which had been waiting in depots and other off-road areas emerged to come onto the dock spur road, causing chaos for a while.
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Drivers waiting at the BP truckstop in Trinity Avenue said they thought the situation had been handled well by the police.
One driver said: “It is just frustrating for us because we want to drop our containers, pick up and get driving again, but if it is closed, it's closed, and we have to wait.”
Another said: “It's all been very orderly. People have been getting parked up on the road and then sitting in each other's cabs having a chat!”
Police kept the inside lane free for cars going to Cavendish Park or work at the port, while lorries queued in both directions between dock spur roundabout and Dock Gate One.
High winds have been playing havoc with port operations this year with high-rise quayside cranes unable to work on the ships once the wind speed reaches 35 mph for safety reasons.
The new mobile messaging sign will be placed at the bus lay-by on the Felixstowe-bound carriageway just before the Trimley interchange slip road.
The hope is truckers will see it and be prepared for the queues ahead when the port is closed - or turn off at Trimley and head back to park up on the old Felixstowe road at Levington.
There has been concern though that the sign is too close to the port and would be better warning drivers the other side of Ipswich so they could find lorry stops, or just before the Orwell Truckstop at Nacton, where there is parking.
Do you think Operation Stack worked well this week? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk