A47 at Dereham re-opens after day of traffic chaos for town

The A47 at Dereham has re-opened after a second crash in six hours left it blocked during rush hour tonight (Friday).

Thousands of motorists battled rush hour chaos following the collision at about 3.30pm today.

The Dereham bypass was closed between the Draytonhall Lane junction and the Manor Road junction for more than three hours after the head-on three-car crash.

This evening, a police spokesman said the road had re-opened at about 7pm and those involved had escaped with just minor injuries.

Six fire crews from Dereham and Watton were called to the collision along with paramedics, police and Norfolk's specialist USAR (urban search and rescue) unit, based in Dereham.

An ambulance service spokesman said two people had been freed from the vehicles and taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance assisted, but the casualties were transported by road.

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Traffic was turned around and many motorists headed back into the town centre in search of an alternative route, bringing the High Street to a halt.

There were reports that some motorists queued for more than half-an-hour just to exit the Tesco car park.

The A47 was previously closed for more than two hours between the Draytonhall Lane junction and Grange Road following a three-car collision at around 9.30am.

Police, paramedics and firefighters from Dereham and Swaffham, including USAR, were called to the scene and there were long queues in both directions.

The town's traffic problems were exacerbated by a number of smaller crashes during the day, including a single-car collision on the Norwich-bound Dereham bypass just after 7.45am.

On-going roadworks also saw Wellington Road closed to all through traffic from its junction with St Nicholas Street to the junction with Oldfield Court, causing further delays on the busy market day.

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