Inquiry hears of danger roundabout

By Richard SmithA CHARTERED engineer has urged the Port of Felixstowe to take responsibility for the accidents caused by lorries spilling diesel fuel at the dock spur roundabout on the A14.

By Richard Smith

A CHARTERED engineer has urged the Port of Felixstowe to take responsibility for the accidents caused by lorries spilling diesel fuel at the dock spur roundabout on the A14.

Robert Sherratt, 46, warned the lives of motorcyclists were at risk when they slipped on the fuel spilt by lorries braking heavily to meet the new 20mph speed limit and access the roundabout.

Mr Sherratt, of High Road West, Felixstowe, is a motorcyclist and he told an inquiry yesterday that many other bikers were worried by the condition of the roundabout.


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“The roundabout is so slippy, it is almost like a skid pan. The police could save money on a skid plan and go there,” he said.

“Many accidents are occurring at the roundabout due to diesel spillage and it is extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. The majority of the accidents do not appear on public records if there was no third party damage or injury.”

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Mr Sherratt was speaking at the inquiry into the £242million proposed redevelopment of the southern end of the Hutchison Whampoa-owned port.

He said his wife, Carole, was terrified by the dangers of the roundabout when she approached it from Candlet Road to take their son Ian, 17, to Suffolk College.

Mr Sherratt had also asked members of the Orwell Model Helicopter Club about their experiences in using the roundabout.

“They said the junctions of the A14 were already extremely dangerous and, in their view, at capacity” he said.

Terry Gray, senior manager responsible for development of Hutchison Whampoa's UK ports, has told the inquiry the upgraded Landguard terminal at Felixstowe port would generate 290 extra lorries every day and add 2% to traffic flows at peak times.

But figures released earlier showed the combination of new developments at the port's Trinity and Landguard terminals would add more than one million extra lorries a year. Improvements, possibly including traffic lights, are planned for the dock spur roundabout.

Yesterday was effectively the last day of the inquiry, which started on October 26, and the rest of the scheduled proceedings will consist of site visits and closing speeches.

But Felixstowe West district councillors, Harry Dangerfield and Mike Ninnmey, have been given permission to finish conducting a survey on the impact of the redevelopment and hand it to the inquiry on Monday.

Mr Ninnmey said it was imperative that improvements were urgently made at the dock spur roundabout.

“Lorry drivers travel all the way, I think, from the north of Peterborough to Felixstowe before they are asked to make a 250-degree right turn. When the drivers arrive here at the end of their drive time they are tired,” he added.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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