Accident blackspot junction on A140 at Hempnall, south of Norwich, to be turned into roundabout
- Credit: Archant
A staggered junction with a poor accident record will be turned into a roundabout on a major road south of Norwich.
Norfolk County Council has won a £3.05m government grant to replace the crossroads on the A140 at Hempnall, between Norwich and Diss with a roundabout.
Eight accidents have happened there in the past five years alone, resulting in 11 casualties and two categorised as serious.
Motorists are also regularly faced with long delays at the junction, and it is hoped the works will ease congestion.
Alison Thomas, who has represented Hempnall as part of Long Stratton division on the council for 10 years, welcomed the announcement.
She said: 'I've lived in the area for 22 years and have been campaigning for these improvements all that time.
'Whether or not additional housing is built, we need a roundabout at Hempnall, because there is a dangerous, risky junction. This work will improve safety along the A140, its feeder roads and the entire Norwich to Ipswich corridor.'
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And Ian Nelson, the parish council's clerk, said: 'Parishioners will be relieved a safer junction will be formed, especially with the expected increase in traffic as a result of the proposed Long Stratton development.'
The total cost of the works is estimated to be £4.36 million, with the remainder of the money set to come mostly from developer funding.
Work to construct the roundabout, subject to planning permission, is planned to begin in autumn 2019 for an opening in early summer 2020.
Hopes works will make travel easier
It is hoped the new roundabout will make travel on the A140 Norwich-Ipswich Road, which is often beset by tailbacks around Long Stratton, noticeably easier.
The project is seen as another step towards providing additional road capacity for proposed development Long Stratton, which is set to include up to 1,800 new homes.
Mr Nelson said: 'Parishioners will be relieved a safer junction will be formed, especially with the expected increase in traffic as a result of the proposed Long Stratton development.'
Martin Wilby, chairman of the county council's environment, development and transport committee, said the project would be 'fantastic' for the county.
He said: 'Better road and transport links are vital to the county, leading to a better quality of life for people living and working here, improving road safety and attracting new investment and more jobs.'