Truckers to get Operation Stack leaflet

THOUSANDS of truckers are to be handed leaflets explaining how Operation Stack works when Britain's biggest container port is closed in bad weather.The leaflet is today being e-mailed to 1,100 haulage companies and thousands will be handed out at the dock gates this month to lorry drivers arriving at Felixstowe port.

By Richard Cornwell

THOUSANDS of truckers are to be handed leaflets explaining how Operation Stack works when Britain's biggest container port is closed in bad weather.

The leaflet is today being e-mailed to 1,100 haulage companies and thousands will be handed out at the dock gates this month to lorry drivers arriving at Felixstowe port. Posters will also be put up in port canteens and reception areas used by truckers.

Meanwhile, a top-level meeting has taken place between Highways Agency, police and port officials to discuss why Operation Stack - the system used to park lorries on the A14 when the port is shut in high winds - failed last month, causing congestion chaos on the dual carriageways and in the twin Trimley villages.

Head of corporate affairs at Felixstowe port, Paul Davey said the leaflet's message was that lorries should move into the right-hand lane as soon as possible approaching Felixstowe when Operation Stack is up and running to leave the inside lane for other traffic.

This would mean when lorries reached the dock spur cars could flow normally into Felixstowe and the trucks would be in the right position to be parked up in the outside lanes on the A14 Port of Felixstowe Road.

Most Read

Mr Davey said: “We are also pressing for more signs on the A14 further from the port - temporary signs at laybys as far back as the Orwell Bridge when Operation Stack is running and permanent ones nearer which can fold over when not in use and which all tell lorry drivers to move into the outside lane.”

A spokeswoman for the Highways Agency said Operation Stack had been used 11 times since last October and on the majority of occasions had worked well.

Last month's problems appeared to have arisen because the strong winds stayed gusty into the evening, leaving doubt over whether the port would remain closed or re-open, and the Highways Agency was not made aware the operation had finished until the next day, meaning signs stayed up far longer than needed.

The spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to look at how Operation Stack works in conjunction with the other agencies and to constantly improve it and we are reviewing what happened last month to learn from that.”

Do you think Operation Stack needs changes? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter