Norfolk County Council has ensured commuters heading home this evening will not get caught up in major queues again this evening – by calling off the survey which caused seven-mile tailbacks on the A47 this morning.

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The delays were caused along the dual carriageway while the authority’s traffic census took place in both directions on the A47 between the junctions for the A146 and Postwick.

The council has apologised for the problems and, following a review, has decided the survey will not continue this evening.

It started at 7am and was due to carrying on until 7pm but was suspended at 9.30am as a result of the traffic hold-ups.

County council spokesman John Birchall said: “The tailbacks were far worse than anybody would’ve liked and we are very sorry for that but the information we got, we can’t get in other way.

“We’ve now looked to see if there was a better way of doing it and have looked at the information we got this morning and have decided what we’ve got already is sufficient bearing in mind the likely disruption it would cause by carrying on.

“The good news is that the origin and destination survey has now gone. The manual traffic count is continuing so there will still be people on site but they will not affect the flow of traffic in any way.”

Earlier today, people reported they were up to an hour late for work while others missed or were late for appointments.

Derek Cooper, 61, who was travelling from Great Yarmouth to Cambridge, said he was stuck in the traffic for one hour and 20 minutes.

He said: “I can’t believe they would hold traffic up for that period of time. I had an important meeting to go to which I was late for and I may have missed out on a £150,000 contract because of it.”

Meanwhile, many aired their frustration on social media site Twitter.

@dyblew said: “Stuck on the A47 and running late because of a census. Not a happy bunny”

@alexandrapow87 said: “Avoid the a47 to norwich like the plague this morning tweeps #traffic #standstill”

@staceymac16 said: “The stupid census they r doin in norwich has made me late again. 5 times now. Avoid a47 east bound between trowse & Broadland business park”

‏@danowat said: “A road census, on a dual carriageway, in rush hour, just how dumb are some people?”

Were you affected by the traffic jams? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk.

66 comments

  • The County Council's website carries a news release issued today in which they admit that an acceptable alternative method of gathering information is via pre-paid survey cards and indeed I have participated by this method in the past. I would have thought this method had the attractions of producing a higher hit rate of considered truthful replies over a longer time span than simply a random snapshot. However handling data in this manner no doubt costs more than the roadside interview and once again although the Council decides it wants something no thought whatsoever has been given to the cost burden inevitably falling on others as a result of of its actions.

    Report this comment

    ALAN BOLDERSTONE

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • are you legally supposed to comply with the census if asked to stop and answer questions?i have been stopped so many times in the last week its a pain while i wasnt inconvenienced this morning many people were and it did nothing to endear the public to the council it has been a farce from the start all i hope is when finally all the information is in that the so called brains put it into their computer modelling and realise nearly all the problems we have are caused by their brains and computer models so last one out of county hall switch the lights off and i hope in this time of Austerity they will be scrutinised and heads will roll for their incompetance and folly

    Report this comment

    David Self

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Norfolk Lad

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • The council broke the golden rule of measurement: Do not interefere with what you are measuring ! Idiots.

    Report this comment

    LLCK

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I have just travelled from Sprowston to John Lewis in the City and back, wife wants to do some Christmas Shopping. Journey time was 18 mins in total. Lets hope that NDR will speed things up

    Report this comment

    Joe Rome

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • is it a legal requirement to take part at these census. why can't we just have a form put in the postor do it online to fill in.

    Report this comment

    donny umbro

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Maybe it done to justify the NDR.

    Report this comment

    Joe Rome

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Hospital and doctors appointments have been missed, people were late for work and so on; just what has this ridiculous exercise cost the local economy? If this was a private company heads would roll, so why shouldn't same happen here? They have got to be made accountable for their silly actions.

    Report this comment

    Heading for Squalor

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • What a stupid thing to do!!

    Report this comment

    Jacob Burns

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I would like to know the name of the cretin who thought having a cenus on the A47 at rush hour was a good idea. A quite staggering decision and I was amazed there were no accidents. Do these idiots actually know that most of us have to get to work at a certain time. However, the most important thing is road safety, so perhaps they will engage their brains before they think about doing this again. Rant over!!

    Report this comment

    Chim500

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Complete lack of awareness, even commonsense, was shown by the council when arranging this fiasco.

    Report this comment

    beverley

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Do what I would do and give them completely untrue information or throw the card away. There must be better ways of doing these things nowadays!!!

    Report this comment

    JulieG

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • All the local transport jobsworths seem to be capable of is disruption for the motorist. After the debacle through Mouseholds Gurney Rd., which seems only to have narrowed & become littered with obstacles , we have the thoughtless & selfish closure of some of the few roads still open in the city. I've had to cancel attendence of an early evening event today so a few people can watch electricity flow through lightbulbs.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • to coin del boys' immortal phrase -'what a load of plonkers!!'

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Who ever had the brain wave of doing a traffic census on the A47 one of Norfolk's busiest roads at 07.00am needs to serious have their heads examined. I started work last night at 9.15pm and finished this morning at 08.00am and I don't need to be sitting in traffic queues to be asked stupid questions when all I want to do is go home to bed !! so I have to find a longer route home through rush hour traffic in the City, last week I was handed a census form after sitting in a queue in the City, so I filled in and told them in no certain terms what I thought of them, waste my time I will waste yours !!!

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Yes we got stuck in that jam - 40 minutes late for our appointment. I'm sure there must be a better way to gather the information than use a dual carriageway at the busiest time of the day and to combine that with the run up to Christmas when extra people are shopping - sheer madness. if there had been some prior warning maybe people wouldnt have been taken by surprise and could have chosen a different route

    Report this comment

    Mrs Meldrew

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • We were delayed on our journey to Norwich by over 1 hour - and we didn't even go through the census as we had a meeting at County Hall to attend! We are all paid by the hour so we all lost one hour's pay, and I know I used more fuel than I should have (along with all the other road users) - so thanks to NCC the environment has been riddled with unnecessary pollution - well done NCC. Why am I penalised for something out of my control and that had no positive impact on the survey...

    Report this comment

    ggbart

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • To Kate Scotter (sorry, I cannot email from work): Several times I have mentioned the lack of the Temporary Traffic Order, please ask John Birchall this question directly and get them to publish it if it exists. Then we will see the persons responsible for sanctioning this ridiculous situation. I would still like to see Norfolk Police's official line on this too.

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • NCC are trying to work out what the future priorities for Norfolk's roads and road users should be. To do that, they have to ask people where they've come from and where they're going. To get the future plans right for peak time road users, they have to survey peak time road users at peak time. If they pre-warn people where they are surveying, then the results will not give a true reflection of a typical day. Maybe today's survey was not executed as it should have been. Like many of you, I too was held up and inconvenienced today. But if it means that over the next few years, we will see improvements in Norfolk's road network that benefit road users, then surely a one off inconvenience is a small price to pay. And before you all start, no I'm not an NCC employee.

    Report this comment

    Anita Dump

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Asylum. Lunatics. Running. Link?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • You can imagine the census report now: "Yes, it appears the A47 is very busy in the mornings, as queues formed for our surveys extended to 7 miles". I wonder what cost this had on the Norfolk economy. Well done to whoever thought that was a good idea. Glad to see my tax money is going to pay for intelligence.

    Report this comment

    ReapnSow

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • My last comment was ethered. To Archant: This requires proper investagative journalism; why are NCC doing this without proper Temporary Traffic Orders - there was after all a lane closure. Ask Norfolk Constabulary why are they not prosecuting for obstructing the highway? PCC and MPs: stand up to NCC

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • What I'd like to know is why the Evening News thinks a few twitter quotes makes a story? Why no comments from any named individual at NCC, just an anonymous, illiterate and nonsensical twitter post?

    Report this comment

    Only Me

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Information overload ... Everyone has access to what every knowledge you want... It's called google and the Internet ..do the census on line and keep the traffic moving... We have enough clowns in the uk without any more causing disruption....

    Report this comment

    Lionel

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

  • I think that they are doing their best and should be congratulated on the progress thus far. Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Correction to my last post. If they do have a TTO, ensure you ask for documentary evidence that it was signed before today.......

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I was stuck in the traffic for over an hour this morning because of this crazy quiz thing that they are getting people to fill in. It made me late for my cats appointment at the vets. When I eventually got there they said I'd missed my appointment so now poor old poppy (my cat) has to wiat another week for her injection just because of all this nonsense on the A47. It really isn't good enough. I think i will leave early tomorrow because i don't want to risk missing my hair appointment.

    Report this comment

    Bernard

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • How Stupid was it by Norfolk County Council to have a census at peak times , and the money that it cost could have been spent on other vital things so who will say what the cost was held up for over a hour trying to get my shop opened my loss was over £200 will i get that loss back dont think so

    Report this comment

    Rushee

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • To Kate Scotter (sorry, I cannot email from work): Several times I have mentioned the lack of the Temporary Traffic Order, please ask John Birchall this question directly and get them to publish it if it exists. Then we will see the persons responsible for sanctioning this ridiculous situation. I would still like to see Norfolk Police's official line on this too.

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • NCC's ignorance defies believe, but one has come to expect nothing more from this bunch of prejudiced fools who go under the guise of being public servants. I think not.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Seen the BBC web site EDP- Norfolk Police to spend money putting police workers back in shirts and ties, just a few years after they spent on putting them in zip up black polo shirt type garments. Apparently we think they look less trustworthy in their black gear.Personally I think we could put them in Eton tails or a leopard print onesie and it would not make any difference to how I feel about wasting the money -or the trustworthiness.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I am so glad we chose not to relocate our Business in Norwich!! The Roads are a joke,if its not a tractor its a tesco lorry! Now a traffic question time! Sorry but it remains a backwater in Business terms!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • Thankfully my visits to the city are now few and far between, but I still vividly recall the absolute mayhem caused by the NCC traffic census ten years ago. It made the headlines then, as now. Good to see the council learned from that experience.

    Report this comment

    John Blunt

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Archant are you too scared of NCC to ask if they had a Temporary Traffic Order? Can I make it any clearer that you MUST ask this question. If they do not have a TTO then they are clearly in breach of their Network Management Duty, to quote "This requires Norfolk County Council to manage the road network to ensure free flowing movement of all road users on the network" If they do have a TTO, ensure you ask for documentary evidence that it was not signed before today.......

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Asylum. Lunatics. Running. Link?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • STOP-PRESS: NCC have analysed the results of this traffic survey and have been able to deduce that carrying out a survey like this on a busy road during rush hour causes massive delays and infuriates motorists.... so money well spent!

    Report this comment

    Edward Millionaireband

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I was caught up in this fiasco this morning. As I understand it, you are only required to stop for a Police Officer. There where none present this morning. Also, you do not have to partake in any census.

    Report this comment

    KMG

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • The pomposity of it all is striking. How come they are allowed to stop traffic at all? why are motorists the only traffic participants? are bicyclists and pedestrians stopped? With modern methods , cameras everywhere, automatic counting machines and traffic modelling, how come that we still need this disruption in the first place? not to speak of its persistent selection of cars, only.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I got caught up for 30 minutes this morning and when i got past the census layby they were not pulling people over. The reason was they wanted to improve the flow of traffic but just by having one lane blocked, it made no difference whether cars were called in or not. What an idiotic waste of money, time and effort. I hope the company employed to carry out the census didnt get paid...

    Report this comment

    smalltownboy

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Norfolk County Council have a complaints procedure that means they have to reply individually to each complaint they receive. If everyone who got stopped logged a complaint on their website they will think twice before doing stupid things the next time - Remember in 2013 you have the chance to vote out the people at NCC who sanction such stupidity.

    Report this comment

    fight back

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Another impecable decison by Ncc, they know exactly how much congestion that census was going to cause because its similar to when theres a breakdownaccident. The results of the survey will be innaccurate anyway because when people here about the congestion on the radio they more than likely went and jammed the Ring Road up instead. I am wondering because they stopped the census early could that be classed as an admission they got it wrong and if thats the case would they then be liable for peoples lost trade?

    Report this comment

    rog

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • The council goes from absurd to insane in the latest actions to take place. What a destructive and infuriating way to gather data let alone the financial cost to business across Norwich and peoples excess spend on fuel in the tailbacks. The council should be ashamed of themselves for what seems to be another badly thought out episode in the saga of council. Plain ignorance.

    Report this comment

    Dave B

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • why not have a daily census on all main roads and have fast track lanes for buses and cyclists - sounds a good idea to me

    Report this comment

    Joe Public

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I have just checked the NCC website. There is no Temporary Traffic Order published for this morning's debacle. I trust NCCNorfolk Police will be prosecuting for obstructing the highway? I for one will be suing NCC for the time spent in the traffic jam.

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • @oldowl - these were not "precious" people wanting to "tear through a community". They were people trying to get to work, to appointments and to other events, mostly driving AROUND a community (which is why they were on the A47), who were severely delayed due to an illegal obstruction of the highway. People can understand an accident causing delays, but not a city council performing a survey without the legal backing of a Temporary Traffic Order (which is what is required for any obstruction of the highway).

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I for one would like to see a liable action taken for the lost of business it caused my business . Is it Norwich City Council solely responsible for this ?

    Report this comment

    Euro

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I was an hour and a half late for work this morning and missed an appointment which has already been reschedualed once when 3 attendees were stuck in a cenus in the city. NCC need to be made accountable for their actions, like many have said, with todays technology surely there must be a better way to collate information. Total waste of time and money. Happy with yourself Mr Birchall?

    Report this comment

    VictorMeldrew

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • There is so many APNR cams about .

    Report this comment

    Euro

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • "there must be better ways of doing these things..." With roadside cameras and numberplate recognition, the authorities should be able to target the "regular" users of the A47, and send the survey card to the registered address for the vehicle. The uptake for completing and returning the card can't be any worse than randomly selecting motorists by the side of the road.

    Report this comment

    chmedp

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • As a comer-in I have waited nearly 30 years to be able to use the phrase - NORMAL FOR NORFOLK. Honestly, this county and how it carries on is quite unlike any other.

    Report this comment

    JanieH

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • And I have to say the census takers I saw were nice polite young men-thank yous and stuff and it is not their fault.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • what a bunch of plonkers. A set of stat results which will be completely skewed and massive delays to many critical businesses, massive pollution cased by 7 miles of almost stationary traffic, and quite likely a load of minor traffic accidents. Well done NCC you have excelled yourself!

    Report this comment

    really

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • "there must be better ways of doing these things..." With roadside cameras and numberplate recognition, the authorities should be able to target the "regular" users of the A47, and send the survey card to the registered address for the vehicle. The uptake for completing and returning the card can't be any worse than randomly selecting motorists by the side of the road.

    Report this comment

    chmedp

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Of course, this will be reported back to the city council as "Long tailbacks on the A47 at morning rush hour indicate the immediate need of relief measures such as the NDR". No mention will be made in the report that the survey caused the tailback. You only need to look at the way St Stephens closure is being bulldozed through that the council doesn't consider car drivers to be worth considering - it's going to cause chaos along All Saints Green and Surrey Street, causing more tailbacks that it solves.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Idiots like Birchall and the Police officer who allowed it should be fired for incompetence! Getting Business going again in this county is hard enough !!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • To Kate Scotter (sorry, I cannot email from work): Several times I have mentioned the lack of the Temporary Traffic Order, please ask John Birchall this question directly and get them to publish it if it exists. Then we will see the persons responsible for sanctioning this ridiculous situation. I would still like to see Norfolk Police's official line on this too.

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I have just checked the NCC website. There is no Temporary Traffic Order published for this morning's debacle. I trust NCCNorfolk Police will be prosecuting for obstructing the highway? I for one will be suing NCC for the time spent in the traffic jam.

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Shame on Norfolk Police.You would have thought there Traffic department would have had the brains to realise!!! Just go to show the stupidity here!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Were any of the questions on the census form relating to improving rush hour traffic flow? Has anyone involved in the decision to carry out the census at an inconvenient time for the travelling public been asked, and given a reply as to why it was done at the time it was carried out?

    Report this comment

    Yorky

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • What makes you think the council or the police really care about what the little people think about their organised chaos? The moment you step into your car you are fair game for high taxes and complex money making traffic offences,so being held up by some nonsensical census exercise is once again showing the motorist who is boss! The fact that this exercise lost the individual and business money, and made some people miss flights tough! as long as the council get their figures that is what counts!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • To Archant: you claim you are not the lap dogs or mouthpiece of NCC. Therefore, as proper investagative journalists why are you not pursuing proper comment from NCC re the lack of a Traffic Order? Maybe even put it to Norfolk Constabulary too. Or, maybe our PCC and MPs will stand up and be counted?

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • @Stuart. Well said, I could not agree more. Lets hope the dim witted clown who authorised this ill conceived census is currently drafting their resignation letter.

    Report this comment

    Chim500

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Hold on a minute! should this not have taken place BEFORE the planning application to alter the postwick junction? It's all a "gather information and figures to fiddle and justify our planning application " exercise. How unprofessional of our council.

    Report this comment

    Marigold

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Oh you poor precious darlings. Anything that infringes your right to tear through a community and dump your pollution must be bad. The City is at last trying to develop a coherent traffic strategy but if that means us acting like a COMMUNITY and not a selfish bunch of individuals there is outrage.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I took part in this census twice the other day and I have no idea how they are going to draw accurate conclusions from the questions I completed on the forms I was given. Where have you just been and where are you going next. Now I had come from the GY area to the rail station to pick some one up because they had a lot of luggage and it was cheaper and easier than taking a taxi from GY station to home.And then I was off to a retail park to a shop which is not in GY and then I was going home. But all my answers will show is rail station to shop and shop to home. Then the cry will be why not public transport . As for traffic management by the police-well they don't even have the wit to carry white boards to tell diverted traffic where they can rejoin the highway when they are diverted around accidents so how can we expect them to work with census takers to find a way to assess traffic movement at the busiest time of day. Not an easy thing to do though if census takers have been instructed to find out what traffic is doing at rush hours.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • what a bunch of plonkers. A set of stat results which will be completely skewed and massive delays to many critical businesses, massive pollution cased by 7 miles of almost stationary traffic, and quite likely a load of minor traffic accidents. Well done NCC you have excelled yourself!

    Report this comment

    really

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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