Road network to get major changes
RADICAL changes, which some fear could cause congestion and chaos, are set to be made to Felixstowe's town centre road network to improve safety.Work on the scheme at two accident blackspots is due to start next week and should take seven weeks to complete.
RADICAL changes, which some fear could cause congestion and chaos, are set to be made to Felixstowe's town centre road network to improve safety.
Work on the scheme at two accident blackspots is due to start next week and should take seven weeks to complete.
But there are worries that placing two sets of traffic lights within 50 yards of each other could cause tailbacks and frustration, clogging up the area around The Triangle in Hamilton Road.
The Suffolk County Council safety scheme is the third of three in the town this year, all identified in the local transport action plan and costing a total of more than £100,000.
It will see traffic lights placed at the Crescent Road/Cobbold Road junction outside the cinema and bingo hall.
A second set of lights with a puffin pedestrian crossing will be put a few yards away, just south of the Hamilton Road/York Road junction, the apex of The Triangle, where there have been six injury accidents in the past three years.
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The schemes will also feature changes to parking, moving of a bus stop, removal of the zebra outside the library, an improved pedestrian and cycle link between the town centre and Deben High School, and pedestrian-priority traffic signals.
Safety work has long been needed at the cinema junction, where there have been eight injury accidents in the past three years.
The main problem with the junction is that vehicles turning right into Cobbold Road in both directions have to cross in front of each other instead of behind, which is confusing to drivers and dangerous.
But some councillors are concerned that the two set of new traffic lights combined with the existing busy zebra crossing outside Tesco, where traffic can be brought to a standstill for long periods, will mean long tailbacks and chaos.
If the lights change before the Tesco zebra clears, traffic will build up at the cinema or people will be left stuck across the junction.
Highways chiefs have pledged to monitor the situation once the lights are in operation and are confident that timings can be set to alleviate any problems.
A county council spokesman said the work would begin on September 8 and should be finished by the end of October. Temporary traffic signals will be in use during the work from 9.30am to 4.30pm. The council apologised in advance for any inconvenience.
What do you think – does Felixstowe need this safety scheme or it is over the top? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk