Community raises safety concerns over busy junction where Holt teenager Martha Seaward was killed
PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 January 2014
Archant Norfolk 2014
The urgent need to improve the safety of a busy junction where a Sheringham High School pupil was killed was raised by angry villagers, teenagers and councillors this weekend.
A large group met outside Sheringham Park, on the A148/Lodge Hill junction on Saturday where Martha Seaward, 15, from Coronation Road, Holt, died on January 10 when she was in collision with a lorry.
There have been long-standing concerns about the safety of that particular stretch of the A148, which has a speed limit of 60mph.
Dozens of people have signed three petitions to improve the junction within days of Martha’s death and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who was at the meeting, wants to raise the issue with Norfolk County Council.
Mr Lamb said: “People feel very strongly about this and understandably so. It is a trauma and obviously horrifying for the family.
“The real anger here is, the community has been making the case [to improve the junction] for a long time and feel no-one has listened.”
As well as district and county councillors, representatives from Upper Sheringham, East and West Beckham Parish Council and Bodham Parish Council were at the meeting. Tim Roderick, headteacher of Sheringham High School was also present with pupils and school fiends of Martha, who had set up a petition.
Mr Roderick said the teenager’s death was like “ripping the heart out of a community”.
“I use this junction every day to and from school and it is too fast. It takes a tragedy like this to put the resources towards a road. No-one should have to go through what Martha’s family has gone through. There has got to be a reduction in speed and traffic calming,” he added.
Ideas included a roundabout, flashing lights, speed cameras and a place to stop in the middle of the road.
David Harrison, county council cabinet member, who was not at the meeting said: “A safety study of the junction of the A148 with the B1157 [Lodge Hill] was carried out in 2009, and this showed accidents were caused by failure to give way. Improvements in visibility and signing and lining have helped reduce this type of accident, with two recorded in the last three years.
“Our response to this new, dreadful accident must be to understand the circumstances and see whether there is anything to learn from this and the other recent accidents at the site.”
For more information about petitions search The Fight To Make The A148/Lodge Hill Junction Safer on Facebook.