Victory for road campaigners

FLASHING signs activated by lorries that experts say are going too fast are today about to be installed at Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur roundabout.

FLASHING signs activated by lorries that experts say are going too fast are today about to be installed at Felixstowe's deathtrap dock spur roundabout.

Two vehicle activated signs will be put up at the junction in a £72,000-plus scheme to improve safety and cut speeds of juggernauts heading for the port.

The Highways Agency has designed the warning signs, which needed government approval, and the Port of Felixstowe will pay for one sign.

The first will be placed on the junction approach from Ipswich, 180 metres before the roundabout, and will activate if a lorry is travelling 38mph or higher.


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They will not activate for cars, and will simply say "Slow Down", and will feature an illuminated picture of an articulated lorry and its container tipping over to reinforce the message.

The agency spent months researching the best positions for the signs and wants truckers to slow down to 20mph or below to turn right to the port.

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Port corporate affairs manager Paul Davey said: "The port has agreed to contribute to this project and will pay for the second vehicle activated sign.

"We are very pleased to be involved and to support anything which improves safety at the roundabout – the Highways Agency have carried out months of work to ensure the signs will be positioned in the most effective places.

"Everyone hopes that this measure will have a real effect on speed and make the junction much safer."

In a joint project with the Evening Star, the port has already had 5,000 leaflets handed out to warn truckers of the junction's dangers. The leaflet warns "Don't be next!" and features photos of some of the 20 accidents there have been in the past six years of trucks rolling over or shedding their loads.

In the worst crash, motorist Martin O'Sullivan was killed when an articulated lorry landed on top of his car and crushed it flat.

The Highways Agency was today announcing full details of the work and when it will be done.

Town councillors are pleased more safety action is being taken and have welcomed the design of the signs – especially the fact that they show the lorry chassis as well as the box tipping to indicate the whole vehicle could roll over.

But councillors still believe the lorry accidents problems will not be solved until major work is done to realign the entrance to the roundabout and separate port and town traffic.

They will continue pushing for a major safety scheme and are actively investigating whether European cash would be available, especially as the A14 is a designated European highway, the number of accidents which have happened and the projected future traffic which could double the number of lorries.

n Do you think flashing speed signs will make lorries slow down? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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