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MP leads the fight for additional A47 junction safety improvements

PUBLISHED: 09:17 16 October 2015 | UPDATED: 09:17 16 October 2015

Photo: Elizabeth Truss MP, Cllr Brian Long and Walsoken Parish Councillors at the junction earlier this year.Pictures submitted

Photo: Elizabeth Truss MP, Cllr Brian Long and Walsoken Parish Councillors at the junction earlier this year.Pictures submitted

Archant

A Norfolk MP is maintaining the pressure to see safety improvements at a notorious junction on the A47.

Elizabeth Truss meets residents to discuss the Broadend junction: Pictures submittedElizabeth Truss meets residents to discuss the Broadend junction: Pictures submitted

Vehicle-activated signs were recently installed on both the eastbound and westbound A47 approaches to the staggered Broad End junction, at Walsoken, near Wisbech.

In addition, double white lines have been installed at the “ghost islands” to prohibit overtaking.

However, concerns have been raised that the signs are too close to the junction and the white lines do not prevent cars overtaking.

Residents told South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss at a public meeting in Walsoken there was an urgent need for a roundabout at the junction, on a road which has seen 12 fatalities and 127 life-changing injuries in 14 years.

After the meeting, Ms Truss said: “It was extremely helpful for Highways England to hear first-hand the comments of residents who use the junction on a daily basis. Concerns were raised that traffic still speeds past the junction, overtakes without consideration of turning traffic and that the signs are too close to the junction to be of any real benefit.

“In fact the Highways England assessment of the signs revealed they could be placed further back from the junction. Other suggestions from residents included having bollards in place at the junction to protect waiting traffic, plus speed cameras.

“However, Catherine Brookes, from Highways England, indicated that if more houses were built in the area, a roundabout would be seriously considered.

“My concern is that the current measures do not offer the community the confidence they will work and I will be pressing the secretary of state for transport that improvements need to be made sooner rather than later.”

The new signs warn approaching drivers of the junction ahead and display the “Reduce Speed Now” legend. They are triggered at a set speed and display the message when there is a vehicle turning out of either side road.

A Highways England spokesman said: “Our East regional director Catherine Brookes attended the Walsoken Parish Council meeting to discuss the signs at the junction.

“We carried out a full risk assessment of the area before the signs were installed and we are content they are in the correct place. We continue to monitor safety and will assess their position again once our road safety audit is complete next year.”

Are you pushing for improvements to roads where you live? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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