Would protest blockade on A47 at Dereham help to highlight need for safety improvements?
PUBLISHED: 06:00 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:20 03 October 2017
A call for more drastic action has been made to highlight the need for improved safety measures on the A47 following another fatal accident at the weekend.
As police investigate the crash on Saturday evening near Dereham in which a driver in his 60s was killed, residents and town dignitaries have said the time for talking about the road’s terrible safety record is over and more pro-active measures must be taken to prevent further deaths.
Kerry Doyle, Dereham resident and chairman of Dereham Carnival committee, said it was up to the community to force authorities to take notice, even if it meant organising a blockade of the trunk road.
“There is scope to organise a protest of some sort that will make local councils, highways and government take notice,” she said. “There is strength in numbers and with enough voices changes can happen sooner.
“I think if as a community every sensible avenue has been looked at, a blockade would be a way to get attention to the matter. I’d happily back anything that improves the safety of a dangerous road.
“It’s time people in the community were really listened to. There is a wealth of local knowledge that can be tapped in to, people that travel these roads everyday see first hand far more than a study costing thousands.
“This specific section of single carriageway is in an awful condition, the layout is dangerous and has had a number of fatalities over recent years. It’s happening far too often and families are losing loved ones.”
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Dereham Mayor Hilary Bushell said the town council would continue to put pressure on Highways England to improve safety measures until the road was dualled.
“We are particularly concerned about the junction at Drayton Hall Lane,” she said. “At the moment there are no signs warning that it is a dangerous junction and I do feel better lighting would help.”
She said she expected the issue to be raised at the next town council meeting.
“We need to discuss whether there are any other ways of highlighting it at this stage,” she said.
“Highways England doesn’t seem to be aware how dangerous it is,” she added.
A Highways England spokesperson said: “Safety is at the heart of everything Highways England does. Our thoughts are with those affected by the fatal incident on the A47 near Dereham over the weekend, however it would be inappropriate to speculate on the possible causes of the incident.”