Third lane idea to solve dock spur issue

A THIRD lane is likely to be put in place at Felixstowe's notorious A14 dock spur roundabout to make it safer and enable it to cope with a million more lorries every year.

Richard Cornwell

A THIRD lane is likely to be put in place at Felixstowe's notorious A14 dock spur roundabout to make it safer and enable it to cope with a million more lorries every year.

The project is under consideration as part of the expansion of the port - Britain's busiest container terminal - which will generate 2,700 extra trucks a day on top of the 4,000-plus lorries and thousands more cars already using the junction daily.

Over the past 20 years the roundabout has been the scene of many roll-over accidents involving articulated lorries - including one where a juggernaut flipped over and landed on a car and crushed and killed the driver.

Campaigners, including The Evening Star, have pressed for more safety measures and thanks to the publicity, a leaflet campaign by the port with hauliers, safety road surfacing and flashing warning signs, the number of the crashes has dropped dramatically in the past four years.

Andy Smith, chairman of Suffolk Coastal District Council's local development framework task group and vice chairman of the council, said discussions were taking place on what action should be taken at dock spur and it was now likely a third lane would be constructed.

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This would involve a third lane coming towards Felixstowe at the roundabout - allowing local traffic travelling into the town to be separated from the dock traffic to reach Candlet Road easier.

A third lane would also be built in the Ipswich direction allowing cars from the Port of Felixstowe Road heading west on the A14 to avoid slower moving lorries and avoid traffic coming from the seaside town.

However, Mr Smith said further improvements would be needed when 2,200-plus new homes were built in the Felixstowe area.

“When this roundabout was constructed the aim was to have a flyover leading into Felixstowe to ensure adequate access into and out of the town,” he said.

“While the suggestion of a third lane will improve the situation for people coming into the town, more beyond that will be needed when we have significant new housing.

“We need that to be put into our core strategy so that developers and government will be aware of the situation.”

The Port of Felixstowe will pay for the initial dock spur improvements, along with some work at the Copdock interchange, as part of its planning permission for its expansion.

What would you like to see done at the dock spur roundabout? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk