Concerns over death crash junction
A CORONER is to write to Suffolk County Council and urge the authority to take action at a controversial accident blackspot junction.Dr Peter Dean, Greater Suffolk coroner, made his intentions known during the inquest into the death of a pensioner killed in August at the junction between Anzani Avenue and Trinity Avenue in Felixstowe.
A CORONER is to write to Suffolk County Council and urge the authority to take action at a controversial accident blackspot junction.
Dr Peter Dean, Greater Suffolk coroner, made his intentions known during the inquest into the death of a pensioner killed in August at the junction between Anzani Avenue and Trinity Avenue in Felixstowe.
The MP and mayor of Felixstowe said they supported the coroner but added that action needs to be urgently taken on the whole stretch of road, which is near to the accident-prone dock spur roundabout.
Terrence Warham, 80, died after driving the wrong way down Anzani Avenue in Felixstowe, before pulling out onto dual carriageway Trinity Avenue and into the path of a HGV.
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It is a manouevre that dozens of drivers perform every day in a bid to avoid going up the A14 or the trip around the Parker Avenue Business Park to get back to the port or town.
Mr Warham, of Cardinals Court, Felixstowe, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on August 11 this year.
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Dr Dean said: "I will ask that their consideration of these matters be expedited, being as this appears to be a potentially problematic area. Clearly, it's of great importance that the matter be looked at as soon as possible."
The inquest at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday heard how Mr Warham had left the BP Garage in Anzani Avenue – a one-way road – via the entrance, which is clearly marked by no exit signs.
He then attempted to turn right onto Trinity Avenue, across four lanes of traffic and through the central reservation gap, but collided with a Scania articulated lorry.
The inquest heard that Suffolk County Council had earlier applied to close the central reservation gap because it is a "high risk site", but the move was objected to by local businesses.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Dr Dean added: "Clearly, what took place was a very tragic accident."
After the inquest, Rod Sore, traffic and safety engineer at Suffolk County Council, confirmed that the authority has been trying to close the gap for some time.
He added: "The issue of the gap in Trinity Avenue is one that we have been looking at for a few years.
"We have been trying to progress closing the gap for some time but have met with objections and have been looking at alternative ideas to resolve the safety issue.
"BP have in the past objected to the closure due to the possible affect on their garage and have suggested an alternative scheme which we have severe reservations about.
"We have agreed an interim safety scheme with BP which would entail putting some clear worded road markings on their forecourt warning people not to use Anzani Avenue to try and access Trinity Avenue from the petrol station. This will be done as soon as possible.
"We have met with the police at the accident site and we still intend to pursue the closure of the gap."
But John Gummer, Suffolk Coastal MP, whose constituency includes the town, said that the authorities "have not taken seriously the dangers in this particular part of Felixstowe".
He added: "You cannot deal with this junction without dealing properly with the dock spur roundabout. We have had meetings and promises and everything but no one has done what needs to be done."
He said there was a "complex matrix of problems" that needed to be addressed in the area and not just at the Anzani Avenue junction.
"Action here must not end up with further damage and danger on the A14. It must be comprehensive action or it will only cause problems elsewhere.
"We do not want another coroner in six months time saying that an accident somewhere else happened due to the fact problems were not adequately addressed here," he added.
Doreen Savage, the mayor of Felixstowe, said: "The coroner clearly thinks it is serious otherwise he would not make this comment. This was a tragic accident and the coroner seems to think that the road has contributed to the death."