Villagers fire shot across port bow

VILLAGERS today warned bosses at Britain's biggest port they will object to its multi-million pound expansion – unless the deathtrap dock spur roundabout is made safe.

By Richard Cornwell

VILLAGERS today warned bosses at Britain's biggest port they will object to its multi-million pound expansion – unless the deathtrap dock spur roundabout is made safe.

They feel it is their 'only chance' to try to force the authorities' hands over action for the A14 junction on the edge of Felixstowe, where more casualties are feared.

The Port of Felixstowe's massive scheme to redevelop the southern part of the container terminal and provide 1,000 metres of new quays will increase capacity by 1.5 million boxes a year.


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That will mean at least a 50 per cent increase in the number of lorries going round the dock spur, where 20 lorries have rolled over or shed their loads in the past six years.

John Barker, vice chairman of Trimley St Martin Parish Council, said a warning shot had already been fired across the port's bows.

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"We have told them we will be officially objecting to the Harbour Revision Order and the planning application unless something is done about the dock spur roundabout," he said.

"This is our only chance to get something done about the roundabout to make it safer for all the people who are using it."

At present two million lorries use the dock spur every year and the redevelopment of Landguard Terminal and filling in of the Dock Basin to create a massive new terminal will mean at least another one million trucks.

Mr Barker was not convinced that speed-activated flashing signs will slow traffic and the only solution is to separate traffic travelling to the port and town, a scheme previously costed at about £340,000.

Motorist Martin O'Sullivan was killed when an articulated lorry landed on top of his car. Campaigners want lane separation to avoid a similar crash.

The Highways Agency has spent £30,000 there this year, but is trying to avoid structural works.

Flashing signs will be installed in the New Year. The warning devices, which the Port of Felixstowe has offered to pay for, will activate if a lorry is travelling at 38mph or higher.

They will not activate for cars, and will simply say "Slow Down Now" – with more signs advising truckers to slow down to 20mph or below.

n What do you think – is a major safety scheme needed at the dock spur? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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