Secret spy cams for killer roundabout

SECRET cameras to record speeds of every lorry and catch on film all rollover accidents could be installed at Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur roundabout.

SECRET cameras to record speeds of every lorry and catch on film all rollover accidents could be installed at Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur roundabout.

The Evening Star can also reveal today that secret speed signs – which light up and flash when a trucker exceeds the 20mph limit – could also be put in place.

Bosses at the Port of Felixstowe have offered to contribute to the cost of the new equipment because they say it is essential safety action is taken and that measures slow down the vehicles using the busy A14 junction.

The port, in association with The Evening Star, is already publishing thousands of safety leaflets urging lorry drivers to cut their speed and be aware of the dangers of their juggernauts rolling over as they turn right.

In the past six years there have been 19 accidents where trucks have flipped over or shed their loads. In the worst, motorist Martin O'Sullivan was killed when an articulated lorry landed on top of his car.

Jamie Hassall, acting area manager for the south east division of the Highways Agency, said secret speed signs were being investigated and the cost of installing the cameras for a trial six months was being assessed.

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He had met officials from the traffic signing division in London to discuss the vehicle-activated speed signs.

"We are committed to reducing HGV speeds on entering and circulating the roundabout, as we also believe it to be an effective method of preventing vehicle rollovers," said Mr Hassall.

"To achieve this, we are looking at the real possibility of installing vehicle-activated signs on the roundabout and we have asked the Transport Research Laboratory to assist us.

"They are currently investigating the best methods of activating such a sign, locations on the roundabout for installation and costs.

"With regard to the suggestion about installation of a camera to record speeds of vehicles entering the roundabout and the installation of a camera-recording device, I have asked Atkins Consultants to provide me with an estimate for both for a period of six months."

The port believes speed cameras will help provide further while the cameras which record accidents could provide evidence about the cause of incidents.

Port chief operating officer Peter Morton said in a letter to the Highways Agency: "The dock spur roundabout is an important issue for local people and we would like to see some movement towards implementation of a solution.

"Equally, we have a moral responsibility to our employees and other port users, who are at risk from any incidents."

Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer is trying to secure a major scheme to separate traffic heading for the port and town. He recently met Peter Thompson, director of transport at Suffolk County Council, to discuss the issue.

The Highways Agency plans this month to carry out £30,000 work at the junction on new advisory speed markings on the road – 20mph on the Felixstowe approach and 30mph on the port exit road – and new hatching at the Candlet Road exit to separate traffic going to the docks and town centre and improve the driving line.

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