Port expansion could see road upgraded
By Annie DavidsonROAD safety conditions on the route to a proposed new container port could be improved if the development goes ahead, a public inquiry has heard.
By Annie Davidson
ROAD safety conditions on the route to a proposed new container port could be improved if the development goes ahead, a public inquiry has heard.
Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, which owns Harwich International Port, wants to create a container terminal on the adjoining Bathside Bay.
A public inquiry is currently under way, with planning inspector Ken Smith hearing evidence from organisations both in favour of and opposing the plan.
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If it goes ahead, the expansion would create a further 1,400 metres of quay, 11 ship-to-shore gantry cranes and capacity to deal with the largest container ships.
The hearing reconvened yesterday after a break of four weeks to hear from Stephen Dudhill, managing director of HSL, a consultancy that specialises in transport planning, traffic engineering, road safety, highway and drainage engineering and infrastructure design in development planning.
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He prepared traffic impact assessments for the Bathside Bay inquiry on the instruction of Hutchison Ports.
Mr Dudhill concluded the A120 that leads to the port was “generally a safer road than one would expect, given its character and the level of traffic flows which it is carrying”.
However, the accident frequency between the Ramsey roundabout and Harwich Road, Wix, was higher than predicted, based on traffic flows.
There was also a relatively high level of lorries involvement in accidents between the roundabout and the junction of the A120 and Colchester Road, Wix.
The inquiry was told if the container port went ahead, it was likely the A120 would be widened from Horsley Cross to the Ramsey roundabout and dualled from Hare Green to Horsley Cross.
Campaigners have called for the entire road to be dualled to improve safety and accommodate the extra traffic that could be a result of the development.