A road campaigner is “astonished” after the Highways Agency (HA) revealed there are no definitive plans for a £1.3m expressway around the A47 Honingham roundabout.

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The HA funding to upgrade the road, which is a “pinch-point” between Dereham and Norwich, was announced on Sunday by prime minister David Cameron ahead of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

It is part of a £170m package of road improvements across the country.

But an HA spokesman said yesterday detailed plans for the eastbound bypass had not yet been drawn up and it was not yet known where the road would leave and rejoin the A47.

He said money for the expressway had been released to ease “significant congestion” for traffic travelling towards Norwich during peak times.

The spokesman added: “We recognise there is a pinch-point on the roundabout and motorists are using villages as a rat run. Detailed designs are going to be undertaken.

“We don’t know where the express lane will leave the road, how short it will be and where it will rejoin.

“Traffic will be able to use the roundabout as usual and traffic from the express lane will merge onto the A47.”

But yesterday, Hockering parish councillor Richard Hawker said he was “absolutely astonished” plans were not available.

The EDP has seen a design of the proposed express lane in a 2010 Highways Agency report.

It shows a slip road off the single-carriage A47, which runs parallel to the road.

Mr Hawker added: “It doesn’t make sense to me.

“There were tailbacks before the roundabout was built. We had tailbacks from the Easton roundabout. We are never going to get nirvana with the free flow of traffic.

“This (the Honingham roundabout) is a junction and if you allow people to join, there is going to be a hold-up.

“They want to spend £1.3m - give me £1.3m and I could solve a lot of Hockering’s A47 problems.”

The roundabout was completed in February 2009 - there was previously a T-junction where drivers could turn off for Honigham and Mattishall.

Mr Hawker said Hockering residents have been campaigning for a safer junction at the Wood Lane and Berry’s Lane junctions, between Honingham and Hockering, since before the roundabout was built.

It was changed after Norfolk coroner William Armstrong demanded safety improvements in 2006, following three fatal crashes in five years.

One of these victims was David Jackson, 19, from Mattishall, who died in October 2005.

Traffic lights were introduced to the road leading up to the roundabout from Honingham last year to reduce motorists using the villages around the A47 as a rat-run.

Mr Hawker said the lights have improved the congestion and the express lane is not “value for money”.

Chairman of Honingham parish council Brian Winchester said the bypass would create more difficulties.

15 comments

  • The Honingham roundabout was a complete waste of money and serves no usefull purpose whatsoever. As in previous posts, why not just duel the whole of the A47 ?

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    Rolf

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Rolf — I do so agree this road needs dualling, but as there appears no prospect of getting this done in the foreseeable future, the roundabout is the best option we can expect and therefore not a waste of time. The waste of time are the authorities who has wasted millions of pounds creating this roundabout and messing about with this junction and not dualling the road years ago.

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    mike smith

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Erratum: Highways Agency - simply accept that you chose the wrong location for the roundabout - it should have been at the Wood Lane Barnham Broom cross-road. The Mattishall Road turning right should've been closed. Presto! But no, you have to believe that you were right all along and need to add more tarmac to fix your own created problem of making the Mattishall Road priority over the A47. Money wasted again.

    Report this comment

    Paul-Michael Ebbens

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • The idea seems to have been conceived without looking at a contour map-the slope of the site,the wet area to the west, the position relative to the church makes the plan impossible without relocating the roundabout completely, which is a waste of money. A better idea would be close the junction for right turns and to build a roundabout on Woods Lane-Berry Lane. Not the best option as the hill would probably mean some rear ending, but the existing roundabout was a stupid idea in the first place and should be removed and replaced with a better junction and a speed limit rather than wasting money. If a junction is good enough for the Scarning and Cantley accesses to the A47 then is should have been good enough for Honingham-the roundabout is a Highways Agency incompetence.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Rolf — Obviously you never had to exit this Mattishall Road junction as you would not have made the silly comment that the roundabout. ". . . . . serves no usefull purpose whatsoever". It does serve a useful purpose as the many people who have relatives and friends killed at this junction, before the roundabout, I am sure will testify

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    mike smith

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Looks like a good scheme to get eastbound traffic to bypass the roundabout. There seems to be sufficient space for it on the other side of a belt of trees on the northern side of the A47 and for the slip road to rejoin the main carriageway well before the church. Less than half a mile of new road I should guess and should bring relief. A possible drawback is that at peak times local traffic off the roundabout will have priority over through traffic which will have to filter in from the left. Since the weight of "local" traffic was largely due to drivers diverting off the A47 to get ahead to the roundabout this scheme should neutralise those flows without adding capacity.

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    JCW

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Looks like a good scheme to get eastbound traffic to bypass the roundabout. There seems to be sufficient space for it on the other side of a belt of trees on the northern side of the A47 and for the slip road to rejoin the main carriageway well before the church. Less than half a mile of new road I should guess and should bring relief. A possible drawback is that at peak times local traffic off the roundabout will have priority over through traffic which will have to filter in from the left. Since the weight of "local" traffic was largely due to drivers diverting off the A47 to get ahead to the roundabout this scheme should neutralise those flows without adding capacity.

    Report this comment

    JCW

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • This really does not make any sense.

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    J.island

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Oh Dear, Oh Dear. There are two means of organising, well.. more or less anything. You could use the Private Sector or the Public Sector, they differ greatly. The Private sector has to succeed and is therefore largely good at whatever it does. It has to be as it has to make a profit to survive. Then, you could use the Public sector. It doesn't care about profit as it uses the profit from the Private Sector, so can waste money on virtually any project, such as this one. The Public Sector therefore can use people who would not be employable in the Private sector, the end result is inevitable, such as this. Is this a surprise?

    Report this comment

    windup

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Stop this total waste of money. Save it up and DUEL the missing 7 miles between Easton & Dereham and the missing 7 miles between Dereham and Swaffham. Makes more sense than all these half-brained attempts at patching up the job. £1.3million and endless enquiries cost even more than just getting the job done properly in the first place. The DerehamSwaffham bit has already been provisioned in part where the flyovers were built for a dual carriageway...

    Report this comment

    TDC1971

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Blimey, they've only just announced the project, give them time to get it designed!! Not news.

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    Pentney Voice

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Highways Agency - simply accept that you chose the wrong location for the roundabout - it should have been at the Wood Green Barnham Broom cross roads. The Mattishall Road turning right should've been closed. Presto! But no, you have to believe that you were right all along and need to add more tarmac to fix your own created problem of making the Mattishall Road priority over the A47. Money wasted again.

    Report this comment

    Paul-Michael Ebbens

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • If "Detailed designs are going to be undertaken" how was £1.3m arrived at? Let's hope it resolves the issues and prevents further tragedies whatever the actual cost will be.

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    F G HOB

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • Not sure the space actually exists here without going through the graveyard at Honingham Church.

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    Team Principal

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • @ Mike Smith. As a member of the Emergency Services who has spent almost twenty years attending road traffic collisions on the A47 from Wisbech to Yarmouth (a lot of them involving fatalities) I can say I speak from experience. Almost everyone of the fatalities I have attended (some at the junction you mention) were on single carriageway stretches. Dual the whole A47.

    Report this comment

    Rolf

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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

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