Roadworks on A47 at Postwick near Norwich - Is this the start of 18 months of traffic hell?

Traffic on the slip road and A47 at Postwick, where work is under way constructing the Postwick Hub Junction. Photo: Steve Adams Traffic on the slip road and A47 at Postwick, where work is under way constructing the Postwick Hub Junction. Photo: Steve Adams

Saturday, May 17, 2014
12:13 PM

Motorists fear they could be facing 18 months of traffic hell, just days into work starting on improvements to the Postwick junction on the A47 near Norwich.

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Work to create what is known as the Postwick Hub - the junction to the east of Norwich where the A47 meets Yarmouth Road - started earlier this week, and already drivers are spitting feathers about the delays it’s causing.

Throughout the work, the eastbound carriageway of the A47 will be shut at Postwick, with a 50mph speed limit.

Norfolk County Council says the junction changes - which will see new roundabouts, roads and a bridge - are essential to cope with extra traffic in the future.

And they say that thousands of jobs, houses and a lasting boost to the local economy will all flow from the £19m improvement of the Postwick junction.

But for objectors, it is an over-engineered project designed chiefly to act as the stepping-off point to a scheme detractors have dubbed the road to nowhere.

And drivers have already taken to social media sites to complain about the traffic hold-ups.

One motorist, from Lingwood, who did not wish to be named, said: “Can we really be facing at least another year of this?

“My journey home took more than three times as long as it normally does, and I spent the waiting time trying to decide on the alternative route for the next day.

“Think I will just have to try various options. I foresee the next year’s travelling as a bit of a nightmare.”

Another motorist added: “Took me ages to get home last night, too. Walking pace eastbound from Trowse to Postwick. Everyone will be travelling via Yarmouth Road through Thorpe... Going to be a nightmare that way, too, and rough for people living in Thorpe.”

Other drivers have also complained about long queues with many suggesting alternate routes through the back roads into Thorpe to miss the junction.

Tom McCabe, interim director of environment, transport and development at Norfolk County Council, yesterday apologised for the delays drivers had experienced at peak times since the work started.

But he added: “The scale of the work to improve the junction means it’s necessary to close one eastbound lane of the A47 for a 1.5 mile stretch to the east of Norwich, and this is due to stay in place till April 2015.

“During rush-hour periods this means traffic will generally be heavy - outside of these times, so far, the traffic has been moving along well.

“We have been monitoring the situation and are looking to see if there’s anything we can do to reduce queuing and delays at peak times.

“We will make whatever changes we can to ease the problems experienced this week.

“In terms of helping the situation, I’d just ask people to be aware that there may be delays at rush-hour periods and, if their journey doesn’t have to be made during these peak times, to consider waiting to get in their car.”

The Postwick hub is seen as the gateway to the Norwich northern distributor road, if permission is granted.

Norfolk County Council wants to build the £148.5m, 19.5km dual-carriageway road from the A47 at Postwick, to the A1067 Fakenham Road, to the north west.

The government has agreed to contribute £86.5m and fast-tracked it through the planning system.

The council says the road will bring a huge economic boost and improvements such as a rapid-bus transit in Norwich. But critics say it will lead to rat-running and concrete over swathes of the countryside.

The area around Postwick is also earmarked for 1,600 new houses in the years ahead. Some 600 homes have already got planning permission.

How do you feel about the prospect of 18 months of traffic hell? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

26 comments

  • I have no issue with having a road improvement scheme, nor the NDR, but to cause this kind of delay is wholly unreasonable. My usual 35 minute drive home from work this week has been anything between 70 minutes and 90 minutes. Adding to the problem is the appalling standard of driving. On two out of three evenings this week I have seen cars reverse from the Trowse overpass, back on to the slip road so that they can go down towards the city to find another way home. In addition, the actions of drivers pushing in at the very last few yards when the carriageway narrows to one lane are both stupid, rude and dangerous. If we have to have this disruption, the whole area should be policed andor have temporary traffic light control.

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    Labratone

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

  • I just wish councils would maintain the roads properly rather than spending money on grandiose big money projects! Bouncing around on third world roads seems to be the norm in Norfolk,but installing yet another bus lane gets priority over basics. When did you last drive or cycle on a perfectly smooth road? That's why you see so many 4x4s in the county,so many roads resemble farm tracks!

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

  • And as for an NDR with roundabouts-I use the Lincoln bypass on a regular basis and although it is a single carriage way road, the very long queues to be seen there at peak times would make you realise what we could be in for with an NDR which is a poor man's Southern bypass ie with roundabouts but no fly overs

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    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

  • I dont often go into the city from the west but I used the Dereham road the other day at about 5pm, and now understand all the fuss about the bus lane-24 hour bus lane, queues of traffic and no bus in sight. The roundabout at the Sweet BriarCostessey road junction is essentially no different than it has been for what-forty years? Apart from a few jiggled road markings.But there is ample space with the right money spent to enlarge and alter it. All round the outer and inner ring roads there are cars parked on the side of the road-queues on the Plumstead Rd because of cars parked outside a few tinpot shops-and another inadequate roundabout. fiddling mini roundabouts that dont work and on and on. How is an NDR going to make much difference to all that? There might be an amount of circulation of traffic heading to the southern bypass and different arterial roads into the city, but seems to me the real problem rests with the outer ring road and within it because the whole system has been wilfully neglected or bodged for donkeys years. A fancy new NDR is no good if traffic is snarled up trying to reach it. Did NCC ever publish how much traffic they expected an NDR to actually take out of the Norwich road system altogether ?

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    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, May 18, 2014

  • The delays due to these roadworks mean that we now can't get to the childcare centre until after it has shut. This means parents have to pay a lot more money each working day in childcare costs and children are upset at having such long days in childcare. we also have to spend a lot less time together as a family... yet this new junction is for a new ring road that doesn't even have planning permission, won't ever be complete, and nobody except councillors wants it.

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    I LoveNorfolk

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • NCC were so desperate to get this junction on the go, they really don't give a damn what congestion it causes and it will be the same with the NDR. Because as far as the the general public and the local taxpayer are concerned, you can all go to H.ELL

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    John L Norton

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Maybe a serious accident is what the planners on the council are hoping for - so that they can say "told you so, we need a better hub junction". And won't we have a really lovely system even if there is no permission to build the NDR .. Here comes another 'Incinerator Game'.

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    Patrick

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Yes I agree BG, the filter isn't long enough and the vision back along the carriageway is obscured until you are almost at the junction, this means traffic has to practically stop before joining the carriageway.

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    Rob_H

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • It is rather dangerous coming off the slip road and trying to merge with traffic on the A47 heading towards Blofield. There is going to be a serious accident here before too long.

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    BG

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Buils the roads,and they will come !

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    Albert Cooper

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • PE07NUT lol. It already is a nightmare, even at off peak times, as time goes on more and more traffic will use the rat runs as people get fed up waiting. Agreed the merging system employed is poor and adds to the frustration.

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    Rob_H

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Too true Larson. We do need to challenge the xenophobes (look it up blister) more often. Growth pressures are down to a number of factors, but migration is pretty low down the list. Instead we need to blame doctors, medical companies and researchers for having the temerity to make everyone live longer. That, and the fact that the average household unit is much smaller than it used to. Blaming foreigners is what Hit.ler did, and he managed to make himself seem plausible to an awful lot of people at the time.

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    Tom Jeffries

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Lets hope those that can use the trains do and Greater Anglia are quick to respond if extra carriages are needed on the trains. Of course the County Council will already have been speaking to the rail company about this withal their forward planning and risk assessments.

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    jennifer jane

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Too true Larson. We do need to challenge the xenophobes (look it up blister) more often. Growth pressures are down to a number of factors, but migration is pretty low down the list. Instead we need to blame doctors, medical companies and researchers for having the temerity to make everyone live longer. That, and the fact that the average household unit is much smaller than it used to. Blaming foreigners is what Hitler did, and he managed to make himself seem plausible to an awful lot of people at the time.

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    Tom Jeffries

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • "...this has put huge pressure on the public transport system and road network because so many more people need to move around the country..." . The number of car trips and bus journeys in the UK has actually been reducing in recent years. So you are talking tripe....have you tried blaming immigrants for the floods ? Go on John !

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Three things car drivers can do do ease the situation 1) when they reach the outside lane closed sign, move to the inside lane don't race up to the cones and barge their way in 2) when there's a breakdownaccident don't slow down to look at it keep going thru. 3) keep looking in their mirrors for emergency and recovery vehicles

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    Cupboard

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • A lesson in how to create "rat runs" well done NCC.

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    Marigold

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • The real priority should be dualling the bypass through Burlingham and dualling the Acle Straight which would see an immediate reduction in accidents. As for Norwich,the bus lane up grapes hill is a waste of time and money,better to scrap all bus lanes and get traffic flowing again! Since unfortunately politics and common sense are rarely mentioned in the same sentence,steel yourself for endless and mostly unnecessary traffic delays!

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Ever since the last labour government gave up control of our borders there has been a massive increase in our population, this has put huge pressure on the public transport system and road network because so many more people need to move around the country. As a result more repairs will need to be made and roads and railways extended massively, as a result we will have to learn to be a bit more patient when making journeys

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    blister

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Who said anything about biking on the A47? Plenty of alternatives. Mind you, it looks pretty safe going east bound between Trowse and Postwick for the next year or so!

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    Tom Jeffries

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Most of the travel news web sites are several days out of date on this, all seem to be carrying the minor delays line which sounds like a press release. Only one said severe delays possible, but when I drove west bound on Wednesday there was a long queue very slow moving-back past the Trowse slip road.

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    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • It was perfectly obvious what was going to happen,anyone who has encountered motorway road works will know, but locally the long snarl ups west bound at Burlingham on Saturday holiday mornings and at Blofield east bound whenever it is busy, show the folly of trying to merge two lanes into one without using a traffic management system The selfish and stupid are always making the delays worse by roaring up on the freer lane and trying to cut in. At the merge on the A11 before Elvedon, traffic usually flows well, because the get in lane is marked from far enough back and a roundabout is involved. Quite what the planners were thinking of allowing a long term closure all through the work is puzzling. I frequently make the trip between the east coast and Cambridge and also West Norfolk and am now casting around for options to avoid that delay on the return journey without wasting too many miles. The old Roman route cross country is ok-junctions a bit nastier now the roads out of Norwich are much busier, and the via DissBury is ok so long as south Yarmouth and Gorleston are not snarled.What we need is a live transmission web cam of the A47 east bound from Trowse and real time up dates of the actual queue lengths on traffic news bulletins.

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    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • Tom - get on your bike? On the A47? No thanks

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    Public Sector & Proud

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • For a while, I used to commute to and from Cambridge. The traffic speeds are ALWAYS similar to what we have had to face this week. So, suck it up, or get on your bike.

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    Tom Jeffries

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • In answer to your headline.... YES Will be a nightmare which will ricochet along the A47 for miles, already seen evidence of it this week

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    Public Sector & Proud

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • I have a couple of friends who travel to and from work every day and this work has created queues causing them to get home as much as 40 minutes later than normal. As it is a main route for holiday makers to Gt Yarmouth and surrounding areas I hate to think what the Saturday mornings will be like in the summer.

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    JEN

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

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

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