Safety scheme 'a fudge' say campaigners

SAFETY will be the casualty if another lane of lorries is added to an accident blackspot roundabout to get extra traffic into a port, it was warned today.

SAFETY will be the casualty if another lane of lorries is added to an accident blackspot roundabout to get extra traffic into a port, it was warned today.

Campaigners have branded the idea a "fudge" and want more changes before they will approve the proposed designs for the A14 junction.

The notorious dock spur on the edge of Felixstowe has seen more than 20 incidents of trucks rolling over or shedding their loads in the past six years.

In the worst motorist Martin O'Sullivan was killed when an articulated lorry landed on top of his car and crushed it flat.

Parish councillors from the Trimley villages and Felixstowe town councillors are involved in a series of discussions with the Port of Felixstowe and their consultants over proposals for safety improvements.

The aim is to bring a project to the public inquiry in the autumn into plans for a massive expansion of the port, which will add another million lorry journeys to the dock spur by 2021.

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During the meetings the ideas have gone through a series of changes.

Latest additions include traffic lights on the roundabout at the Candlet Road junction to stop the flow of lorries, and making the roundabout two-lane.

But the proposals have drawn fierce criticism from campaigners.

Trimley St Mary Parish Council chairman Richard Kerry said: "They will be doing this under the banner of safety but I think it's a fudge to get two lanes of traffic to get more traffic into the port.

"Increasing the number of lanes is the only way they will make the roundabout bigger and cater for this big increase in traffic which is forecast.

"It would also be very dangerous for cars coming out of Candlet Road from Felixstowe to cross two lanes of traffic."

Concern was voiced over proposals for peak-time traffic lights – with worries that if they are positioned at the Candlet Road junction, it will cause tailbacks on the A14 or unsuspecting cars to round the junction and crash into queued traffic.

Councillor Hazel Blackshaw said: "Something needs to be done because many people are too scared to use the roundabout and more traffic is now coming through the village because of that."

Mr Kerry said: "The problem is that Felixstowe has only got two ways in or out – through the villages or the A14 – whereas most towns have four or five.

"We need to keep a very close watch on the development of these plans and keep our finger on the pulse to make sure we get the right safety scheme."

Councillor Bryan Frost was very concerned about traffic projections for the port's redevelopment of its Landguard Terminal. There would not only be one million more lorries, but also 1,400 two-way journeys of extra workers.

What do you think of traffic lights and two lanes on the dock spur roundabout? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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