Petition demanding improvements at Dereham Road roundabout to go to Norfolk County Council
09:30 08 October 2012
Campaigners battling to improve a dangerous Norwich roundabout will take their fight to county councillors today.
A petition, which has gathered 735 signatures, will be put before the Norfolk County Council’s cabinet calling for a pedestrian crossing at the roundabout on Dereham Road and Guardian Road.
In April, the Evening News reported how there had been 22 accidents causing injury at the junction in the seven years since a nine-year-old girl first called for a crossing so that she could walk to school safely.
Megan Smith, from Hellesdon Road, launched a campaign in the Evening News to improve the junction and in April her brother Darcy, aged nine, revived the call.
Darcy’s mother Rachel Smith said: “It is time they took notice. There are a lot of pedestrian crossings around the ring road. I don’t understand why there is not one here. You just feel really vulnerable.”
On August 5, a driver was injured at the junction in a crash between a Toyota Corolla and a Mini Cooper.
The landlord of the Gate House pub on Dereham Road, John Gates, who has gathered signatures for the petition, added: “We need it for safety, because, especially in the morning, nothing stops for the pedestrians.
“How they don’t get knocked over I don’t know.”
Wensum Green Party councillor Neil Blunt, who helped organise the petition said he had lost count of the stories he had heard about near misses at the roundabout.
“There is a real fear that only a fatality will make the council sit up and take notice,” he said. “Let’s hope this petition wakes them up before that happens.”
The signatures will be presented to cabinet by Ian Boreham who lives on Olive Road in Costessey.
He said: “Pedestrians are frightened to cross on foot; cyclists feel unsafe; motorists are unhappy.
“This has been one of the most talked about issues around here for years and it’s high time something was done.”
Work has begun on Dereham Road as part of the city’s rapid bus transit scheme, and a spokesman for the county council said improvements would be made at the junction as part of that, although a timescale could not be given.
A spokesman for the city council said: “We welcome and will always consider people’s views on what is important to them.
“As with all local authorities, however, expert decisions about which improvements and developments have to be carefully balanced, making sure schemes which will have the most impact and or bring the most wide-reaching benefits are prioritised.”