Operation Stack is used by Suffolk Police and other agencies when, as a result of restrictions at the port, traffic builds up on the A14. Port restrictions can occur for a variety of reasons, but the main cause is high winds, which prevent safe operations at its container terminals. Initially, when the port is closed, container vehicles are queued or ‘stacked’ in the on-port holding areas. However, when these areas are full and traffic begins queuing on the A14, Operation Stack is implemented.
Under the new arrangement, the first phase of the operation will be moved from the A14 to the old A45 at Levington. Vehicles travelling to the Port will be notified that Operation Stack has been implemented by advanced warning signs along the various routes leading to Felixstowe.
Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs at Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, said: “Although disruptions are rare, and our container terminals are open 98% of the time, the current system can also cause congestion and has, in the past, led to occasional, but significant, disruption on the A14 and on local roads. We have, therefore, worked in partnership with Suffolk Police, the Highways Agency, local councils and other stakeholders, to agree these new arrangements.”