Update: Highways Agency ‘regret’ over long delays caused by Thickthorn roundabout roadworks

Library picture of traffic making its way around Thickthorn roundabout at the junction of the A11 and the A47. Picture: Denise Bradley Library picture of traffic making its way around Thickthorn roundabout at the junction of the A11 and the A47. Picture: Denise Bradley

Friday, February 21, 2014
4:47 PM

Highways Agency bosses have said they “regret” inconvenience caused to drivers who found themselves delayed for up to an hour because of roadworks at a roundabout near Norwich.

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Motorists hit out at long delays to their journeys after roadworks at Thickthorn roundabout left them queuing for nearly an hour along a one mile stretch of the A11 on Thursday night.

The Highways Agency, which is carrying out £650,000 work at Thickthorn roundabout, admitted there had been an “issue”, caused by the temporary suspension of the system which monitors traffic – which affected the phasing of the traffic lights.

An agency spokeswoman said: “The resurfacing scheme at the Thickthorn roundabout will improve journeys in this area for road users.

“Overnight on Thursday the work required the temporary suspension of the system which monitors traffic and sets the traffic signals. We are aware this led to some delays and regret any inconvenience caused.

“This is being addressed and we expect traffic flows to return to normal. We thank drivers for their patience.”

Work to improve the worn out surface started last week, but it was last night that drivers really felt the impact of the work.

One commuter left work in Wymondham at 8.45pm last night. He said he arrived home in Acle at 10.45pm after spending 50 minutes stuck in traffic on the A11.

Frustrated motorist James Palmer tweeted: “Long queues A11 northbound because of Thickthorn roadworks.”

And Tom Ramsay tweeted: “We were one short at 6-a side because one lad got stuck in it. It’s outrageous it’s being done in the evenings.”

Jessica H tweeted that she had also been caught up in the queues. She said that driving home to Norfolk from Surrey, she was stuck on the M25 for an hour and then spent an hour stuck at Thickthorn.

The Highways Agency started the £650,000 work last Monday to resurface the roads around the roundabout and the slip roads on and off the A11 and A47.

The Highways Agency said the work was being undertaken overnight between 8pm and 6am to “minimise disruption” to road users.

The road markings, which are barely visible on parts of the roundabout, will also be restored.

To ensure the work can be carried out safely for road users, there is a 50mph speed restriction, and specific lanes or carriageways are closed.

The work is expected to last until March 6.

14 comments

  • The new road surface and direction markings are superb; this roundabout has been in a terrible state for years and drivers not familiar with the exits usually found themselves in the wrong lane. A number of drivers also do not realise that traffic coming from the right is being held by the signals so they hesitate, thinking they have to give way. At least part of the confusion is now being eliminated. It would help if the sighting of the large roundabout signs was improved as vision is obstructed by other signs and markers - there is a strong case for overhead gantries on the A11 aproaches to get everyone in the correct lane from further back.

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    JCW

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • "Outrageous" ?? And if the work were not done you'd be complaining about the state of the road. There is NEVER a perfect time to do this kind of work - except when it affects other people, that's fine!!

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    Patrick

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • Why not use the clearly signposted diversion northbound along the parallel B1172 to Thickthorn which has been displayed for weeks in advance? So a couple of people either made a mistake or took a chance and it is deemed worthy of sensationlist headlines; get a grip Archant!

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    guella

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • The problem was ACTUALLY hindered by the fact that when driving up the B1172 towards thickthorn there are roadworks signs but when you get to the little roundabout near the fuel station the actual entrance to thickthorn was shut so then followed the 10 mile diversion around via wymondham onto the A11 only to find that the a11 only has 1 lane open. Had the contractors thought to put road ahead closed signs as you leave hethersett people could have turned left at colney laneback road and come out onto the a47 at the watton road or proceeded into the city that way.

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    andre smith

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • The roadworks are being done at the best time for the majority of commuters Mr Ramsey..The A11 is not the only road into Norwich, so maybe another time maybe check the travel situation and take a different route..

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    jcordy43

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • Having been caught in this traffic last week, it was being caused by the contractors parking their lorries at the traffic lights making them change quickly as the so called smart lights are programmed to make sure there is no build up of traffic on the slip roads coming off the A47!! They were letting 1-2 cars through before changing turning them off whilst working there might help!!

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    sr44

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • I have been caught in this a couple of times now and the main issue is with the traffic lights on the A11 northbound at the Thickthorn roundabout. The phasing is ridiculous as only 6 or 7 vehicles can get through before they go red again! It would make sense to change this as obviously there is a large volume of traffic on the A11 and it would minimise delays if the green phase was extended to allow the traffic to clear the lights more easily then reducing the queues on the dual carrigeway!

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    Martin Jennings

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • Shock, horror!! Roadworks cause delays!! What a surprise!!

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    The man on the Clapham Omnibus

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • Roadworks didn't cause these delays, the dumb drivers who ignored diversions did. Typically negativity story about something that will be a huge benefit to thousands of drivers and has been arranged at times to minimise disruption.

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    Only Me

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • @guella The diversion via the B1172 was then stopped at the roundabout by the petrol station and took you all the way back on another diversion to Wymondham to rejoin the A11. Not any of the drivers fault, the fault lies with the contractors carrying the work out who failed to set up the diversions which in the end took you back to the A11.

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    norfolkboy

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • norfolkboy thank you for your clarification which confirms persistent confusion caused by the contractor's woeful lane closures etc since at least monday evening when southbound traffic approaching Thickthorn were given contradictory signage and coned lane closures in particular relating to a mythical closureof the B1172.

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    guella

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • Get stopped once, find a different route next time. It is just routine maintenance work for a better safer road surface. Simples.

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    JEN

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • Be thankful they are doing some road repairs on this dreadful poorly designed junction! Most of the time money is spent on more road humps or modifying pavements,never on the dreadful third world pothole infested roads we drive on! As for disruption,no one at the council cares,they don't run businesses,and are paid handsomely out of the public purse!

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • yeah, such a shame mr ramsey that the roadworks were done overnight when there is not so much traffic. maybe next time you can phone the contractors and organise to do them whilst on holiday, or have you a better idea what time they should be done.

    Report this comment

    canaryboy71

    Friday, February 21, 2014

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

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