Weather forces port closure

TRUCKERS were today advised to park up and delay their journeys to Felixstowe after high winds caused the port to close.Quayside operations were suspended as the winds made it too dangerous for the gantry cranes to work on the loading and loading of ships berthed at the terminal.

TRUCKERS were today advised to park up and delay their journeys to Felixstowe after high winds caused the port to close.

Quayside operations were suspended as the winds made it too dangerous for the gantry cranes to work on the loading and loading of ships berthed at the terminal.

Police said lorries were starting to queue in Trinity Avenue and would soon be back onto the A14 unless the port re-opened.

A spokeswoman said it was likely to get very congested and a message had been put out to ask lorry drivers to park up and wait for further news.


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More than 2,000 lorries visit the port each day, though the busiest times are between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

The port has temporary holding areas where large numbers can be accommodated, but once they spill out onto the roads outside the port, police have to decide whether to use Operation Stack to deal with the problems.

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This means parking lorries in one lane of the A14, leaving the other lane free for cars going to Felixstowe or the port.

However, not all HGV drivers appear to understand the system, and the difficulties in getting vehicles into the correct lanes last month when the port closed caused massive congestion with the A14 gridlocked and tailbacks to Trimley interchange.

Villagers have also been upset that drivers have then decided to go through Trimley St Mary and Trimley St Martin to escape the chaos.

The port uses radio to get messages to drivers, but is now looking at possible use of mobile signs around Ipswich and motorway and dual carriageway electronic over-the-road information signs further afield.

Have you been caught up in Operation Stack? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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