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A47 dualling ‘an excessive solution to a small problem’ - say Hockering residents

PUBLISHED: 17:37 07 April 2017

Public consultation at Hockering to see plans to duel the A47 from North Tuddenham to Easton. Looking at the plans are (L) David Allfrey and Paul Butcher. Picture: Ian Burt

Public consultation at Hockering to see plans to duel the A47 from North Tuddenham to Easton. Looking at the plans are (L) David Allfrey and Paul Butcher. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

Residents in a Norfolk village said the proposed dualling of a section of the A47 is an excessive solution for a small problem.

Public consultation at Hockering to see plans to duel the A47 from North Tuddenham to Easton. Looking at the plans are Mark Melton and his son Charlie (10). Picture: Ian Burt Public consultation at Hockering to see plans to duel the A47 from North Tuddenham to Easton. Looking at the plans are Mark Melton and his son Charlie (10). Picture: Ian Burt

During a public consultation which took place in Hockering, near Dereham, on Friday residents concluded that Highways England had misunderstood the cause of traffic congestion at the notorious A47 bottleneck between North Tuddenham and Easton.

Resident, Paul Strutt, said: “We have got a traffic problem but we don’t need a dual carriage way to solve it.

“What they need to do is fix the Honningham / Mattishall junction.

“They made an enormous change to the road by putting a roundabout there and everyone who uses it have been paying the price ever since.”

Public consultation at Hockering to see plans to duel the A47 from North Tuddenham to Easton. Picture: Ian Burt Public consultation at Hockering to see plans to duel the A47 from North Tuddenham to Easton. Picture: Ian Burt

The roundabout and junction near Mattishall was built in February 2009 following three fatal crashes in five years but it has become a major cause of congestion, with long tailbacks caused by commuters travelling from Dereham to Norwich.

Mr Strutt’s thoughts were echoed by Hockering parish councillor, Richard Hawker, who said: “There are problems with the options all round, but the easy way to solve this would be to fix the junction.”

But changing the junction is not among the options under consideration. Instead one option would see a new section of dual carriageway built to the north of the existing A47 and cutting through a section of Hockering.

Paul Butcher, who lives close to where the new road would go, said: “That option makes no sense. I don’t see the point in building something that goes far out from where it is now.”

His wife, Margaret Butcher, added: “They’ve mentioned compensation to us but compensation doesn’t really matter, we don’t want our way of life spoilt.”

Other options considered include adding a section of dual carriageway to the south of the A47 and north of the River Tud or a new section to the south of the existing A47 and to the south of the River Tud.

Tony Davis, Programme Leader for Highways England, said this is just the preliminary stage of planning and they are nowhere near the point of making any decisions. He added that the dualling is needed because traffic congestion will only worsen as towns grow.

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