New technology to slow lorries

FLASHING signs activated by lorries that experts say are going too fast will be installed at Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur roundabout in the New Year.

FLASHING signs activated by lorries that experts say are going too fast will be installed at Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur roundabout in the New Year.

The Highways Agency is currently seeking final government approval for the warning signs, which the Port of Felixstowe has offered to pay for.

The signs will be placed on the approach to the junction from Ipswich, about 180 metres before the roundabout, and will activate if a lorry is travelling at 38mph or higher.

They will not activate for cars, and will simply say "Slow Down Now".

The agency, which has spent months researching the best positions for the vehicle activated signs, wants truckers to slow down to 20mph or below to turn right to the port on the roundabout.

Town councillors are pleased more safety action is being taken but still believe the problems of lorries rolling over will not be solved until major work is done to realign the entrance to the roundabout and separate port and town traffic.

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This week they were astonished to hear that £340,000 – the projected cost of such work at the junction – is to be spent instead on a footbridge across the A14 to link a Felixstowe housing area with countryside walks at Trimley.

The town council has agreed to carry on pushing for a major safety scheme and is actively investigating whether European cash would be available.

It has been in touch with MEP Andrew Duff who believes there is a possibility of funding, especially as the A14 is a designated European highway, the number of accidents which have happened and the projected future traffic.

The port is in the process of doubling its capacity with two major developments and this will sent twice as many lorries around the roundabout.

Felixstowe is part of the Trans-European Transport Network and identified as priority 13 on a list of 20 schemes

Twenty lorries have rolled over or shed their loads in the past six years at the roundabout. In the worst, motorist Martin O'Sullivan was killed when an articulated lorry landed on top of his car and crushed it flat.

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

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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