Progress in talks to end Stack headaches

A RANGE of options are being considered to try to solve the problems of truckers having to queue on the A14 when Britain's biggest port is forced to close in windy weather.

A RANGE of options are being considered to try to solve the problems of truckers having to queue on the A14 when Britain's biggest port is forced to close in windy weather.

Meetings between port chiefs, the Highways Agency, police and councillors are said to have been “very constructive” so far with frank exchanges of views and a number of ideas examined.

The possibilities range from more land being allocated on the Port of Felixstowe complex for lorries to park in bad weather to using the old A45 at Levington as a priority parking area, from getting more vehicles off the roads at truck stops to buying the old radar station near the A14 Brightwell turn-off to create a massive parking area.

No decisions have yet been made - and all bodies with an interest have been invited to a special meeting at Suffolk police HQ on June 6.

Town and county councillor John Goodwin said his priority was to ensure emergency vehicles could get through the traffic chaos if needed when Operation Stack - the procedure for handling lorries - was running.

He said: “When it went very seriously wrong a couple of months ago and lorries were stacked on the A14 and Trimley was nose-to-tail with vehicles, there was no way an ambulance or fire engine could have got through.

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“We need a proper solution and I am glad it appears they are taking our concerns seriously.”

Trimley St Mary parish councillor Carl Storer said: “I would be very concerned if they started talking about stacking on more than one lane of the A14 and sending all the other vehicles through the villages and back lanes.”

A port spokeswoman said: “Hopefully in the next few weeks we will be able to give the local community more idea of how Operation Stack will work in future.

“The talks so far have been very constructive and very useful and have flagged up a number of issues.

“We realise there are shortcomings with Operation Stack as it currently exists but we have to make sure the right solution is found and that any changes do not cause further problems.”

What do you think should be done with the lorries when the port is closed? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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