Traffic could get worse before better
FEARS have been voiced that radical changes to improve road safety in Felixstowe town centre could lead to congestion and chaos.Work is set to start any day on the project at two blackspots, where 14 pedestrians have been injured in accidents in the past three years, with roadworks set to disrupt the Crescent Road-Cobbold Road area for eight weeks.
FEARS have been voiced that radical changes to improve road safety in Felixstowe town centre could lead to congestion and chaos.
Work is set to start any day on the project at two blackspots, where 14 pedestrians have been injured in accidents in the past three years, with roadworks set to disrupt the Crescent Road-Cobbold Road area for eight weeks.
More than £100,000 is being spent in Felixstowe on safety works, with the biggest scheme to put traffic lights at the junction outside the cinema.
The junction is notorious because vehicles turning right into Cobbold Road in both directions have to cross in front of each other instead of behind.
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The junction, used by schoolchildren going to and from Deben High, will have pedestrian priority lights and cycle lanes.
The zebra crossing outside the library will be removed, and the bus lay-by outside the cinema moved.
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The second part of the scheme will see a new pelican crossing put in place at the apex of The Triangle.
But some town councillors fear the combination of the two schemes, along with the busy zebra crossing outside Tesco, will mean long tailbacks and chaos.
"I am very concerned about the impact of the Tesco crossing on the traffic lights – there could be a huge back-up of traffic in Cobbold Road which could seize up the lights, and it could cause a great deal more danger," said councillor Cherrie MacGregor.
Councillor Mike Stokell also voiced concern about congestion at the lights and said that on Saturdays traffic backed up to the cinema junction and round the corner.
But Andy Smith, chairman of the town centre management committee, assured councillors the situation would be monitored and the lights adjusted if there was a problem.
Peter Ingram, technician engineer at Suffolk County Council environment and transport department, said he was "confident that this work will improve safety".
The traffic lights plan had been drawn up after careful investigation of the junction's problems and the Felixstowe Local Action Plan had also identified the need to improve pedestrian and cycle facilities at the junction.
Other safety work this spring will include traffic lights at the Railway Approach-High Road West junction, where there have been six injury accidents in three years.
Felixstowe Safety Committee has been calling for action for many years and believed it would happen only if a public transport interchange was built as part of an industrial development.