Felixstowe: Operation Stack in place as strong winds bring port to standstill

OPERATION Stack was brought into use this afternoon as strong winds continued to cause disruption at Britain’s biggest port.

Holding areas at the Port of Felixstowe were full with more than 300 vehicles.

It was decided to start up Operation Stack for those truckers still arriving to avoid queues on the A14 approaches to the container terminal.

Police and Highways Agency officials are assisting with the management of vehicles, taking them off the dual carriageway at the Seven Hills interchange and parking them up on the old A45 at Levington.

The port had been opening and closing all day as winds hit 45mph-plus – the safety limit for cranes to operate – and then eased before growing stronger again.

“From this time, no container vehicles will be allowed onto the port until Operation Stack is lifted unless they have a ticket,” said a port spokesman.

“Tickets can be obtained from the holding area on the old A45. Any vehicles arriving at the port without a ticket and valid VBS booking will be redirected either to its local yard or to the old A45.

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“When conditions improve it is likely to take some time to clear all waiting vehicles.

“In view of this hauliers travelling to the port are advised to delay their journey until normal operations resume.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this disruption may have caused and we value customers’ understanding as measures are taken to ensure the safety of all port users.”

It is only the second time Operation Stack has been used in the past six months, despite frequent windy conditions. Better communication with hauliers, the new booking system and improved forecasting have enabled port officials to get the message across much sooner and ensure truckers delay their journeys.

However, the stop-start nature of today’s conditions have caused problems.