Time for action at dock spur
NO more fancy words. No more meetings. It's time to deliver.That's the verdict of MP John Gummer on Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur roundabout as he starts what he describes as a pre-planned 'blitz' to demand action before someone else is killed.
By Richard Cornwell
NO more fancy words. No more meetings. It's time to deliver.
That's the verdict of MP John Gummer on Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur roundabout as he starts what he describes as a pre-planned 'blitz' to demand action before someone else is killed.
Mr Gummer is stepping up the pressure on the Highways Agency and will insist this week that officials start work on a major safety project.
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"We have not had a proper response at all from the Highways Agency from all we have done – and now we are going to have a real go, a big blitz," he told the Evening Star.
"We have already given people plenty of time to think about it – they know what needs to be done.
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"We have had enough writing letters and enough meetings. Now it's time for the agency to deliver. I hope to have some news by the end of the week."
Mr Gummer has already met with parish and town councils, and port officials, to agree a way forward and has outlined his proposals for stopping lorries overturning at the A14 junction in a letter to the councils.
Felixstowe Town Council will discuss the letter tonight , but bizarrely Trimley St Mary parish council refused to talk about it in public and decided it was a secret.
Mr Gummer said there was a unanimous view and a lot of frustration over the agency's plan for more white lines and signs, that it was "too little too late".
There is also anger that the port – which with the help of The Evening Star is putting together a warning leaflet for truckers – had had its offer to pay for flashing speed signs and cameras rejected.
"It is felt that the Highways Agency has been indifferent to their responsibilities, blaming unevenly loaded lorries as the main cause of accidents," said Mr Gummer.
"As we know of no other roundabout with such an accident record, we do not feel that the present position can continue.
"Overturning lorries, for whatever reason, appear set to continue and it seems sensible to keep lorries to the outside lane of the roundabout – any overturning lorries would fall the verge reducing the danger to fellow road users.
"While accepting on the grounds of cost that this outdated roundabout is unlikely to be replaced in the near future, we would like to see considered ways to separate local and dock bound traffic."
There have been 19 accidents in six years of lorries rolling over or shedding their loads at the A14 junction.
In the worst motorist Martin O'Sullivan was killed when a lorry toppled and crushed his BMW in the inside lane. A stark wooden cross marks the point.
The Highways Agency insists there is no problem with the roundabout and the crashes are down to driver error, faulty vehicles and poor loading.