Safety move abandoned after objections

MOVES to close a dual carriageway gap, where a Felixstowe pensioner was killed in an horrific crash, were abandoned after objections, it was revealed today.

By Richard Cornwell

MOVES to close a dual carriageway gap, where a Felixstowe pensioner was killed in an horrific crash, were abandoned after objections, it was revealed today.

Petrol station owner BP is understood to have been the main protester – fearing that closing the gap in the central reservation for safety reasons would hit its profits.

Terrence Warham, 80, would be alive today if the plan to close the gap in the central reservation had gone ahead after it was agreed a year ago.

But Suffolk County Council said there was a large number of objections to the closure and it was also feared shutting gap would send more people onto the A14 to use the already-dangerous dock spur roundabout.

Now the council is looking at alternative ideas for a safety scheme which will enable to gap in Trinity Avenue to stay open.

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Mr Warham, of Wolsey Gardens, died on Monday when his grey J-reg Rover 416 was in collison with a Scania articulated lorry tractor unit, which was in the outside lane overtaking another lorry slowing down to enter the filling station.

It is understood he was making an illegal manoeuvre at the time pulling out of Anzani Avenue – a one-way street in the opposite direction – after leaving the BP petrol station via its entrance, where there are "no exit" signs.

It is a manoeuvre which dozens of drivers do every day to avoid the trek up the A14 or trip round Parker Avenue business park to get back to the port or town.

The county council had wanted to close the Trinity Avenue gap "to remove the conflict between turning and through traffic".

It was considered a safer alternative for vehicles wishing to enter Anzani Avenue and filling station to continue south along Trinity Avenue to the roundabout at Dock Gate 2 and back along the northbound carriageway.

But when so many objections – from BP and drivers – came in, it felt unable to proceed.

Rod Sore, traffic and safety engineer, said: "Our safety engineers will be visiting the site of this tragic accident and working with the police to establish exactly how it occurred.

"The county council have recently looked at the possibility of closing the gap on Trinity Avenue.

"We decided that closing the gap would be likely to put more traffic onto the dock spur roundabout and in view of this and the weight of objections to the closure it was felt we should seek an alternative approach.

"BP, who own the petrol station, have employed consultants to investigate an alternative to the gap closure. We are currently looking at the scheme they have put forward and will consider this as part of our investigation into options for addressing the safety issue of the gap.

"We are hopeful of introducing a local safety scheme next year."

It is understood the scheme involves traffic lights, which would enable drivers to turn right from into the garage.

No one from BP was available to comment today.

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