Call to tackle danger road in south Norfolk village

Officials are being urged to tackle a blackspot in Ditchingham following claims there have been 17 r

Officials are being urged to tackle a blackspot in Ditchingham following claims there have been 17 road accidents there in the last year. - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2010

Officials are being urged to tackle a blackspot in a south Norfolk village following claims that it has been the scene of 17 road accidents in the last year alone.

Parish council members and local residents are concerned about the stretch of road from Froggs Hall to the bottom of Hollow Hill in Ditchingham where there is a sharp bend in the road.

The last recorded accident was on Sunday afternoon when a car flipped over and landed in a field.

Local resident Alan Rush, whose daughter was involved in the incident, said improvements need to be made before someone is seriously hurt.

He said his daughter was shaken by the accident but miraculously escaped unharmed.

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Keith Weston, vice-chairman of Ditchingham Parish Council and chairman of the planning and highways committee said road improvements were desperately needed, but extra signage had been added to the road to alert motorists of possible dangers.

He said: 'The parish council is very concerned about the number of accidents on that stretch as we have done what we can to remedy it. We have made the situation completely clear to the Road Casualty Reduction Team and police and we are constantly updating them when accidents happen, but we can't magic up the money.'

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Mr Weston said the parish council had been keeping a tally of accidents, however minor, and there had been 17 incidents this calendar year.

He said he believed poor weather conditions had played a part.

A spokesman from Norfolk County Council Highways said an assessment of the site showed road improvements may make a difference and £35,000 worth of work would be carried out in the spring.

She said: 'We are planning patching and surface dressing work to take place on Hollow Hill. This will improve the surface of the road and, we hope, help to reduce the likelihood of motorists losing control, particularly in wet conditions.

'Clearly, motorists also have their parts to play and we would always ask that they drive to the road and weather conditions, and adjust the speed and drive accordingly. It's also worth knowing that on average 6,000 vehicles a day on average safely use this stretch of road.

'In addition to the surface dressing, we will be changing the line markings to better balance the widths of the lanes. We hope this will make it easier for drivers to position themselves correctly around the bend, and reduce the number of collisions.'

The spokesman said they hoped to carry out the improvements next spring, but it was clearly weather dependant.

The work was originally planned for the 2017-18 highways programme but has been brought forward thanks to a contribution of £20,000 from the road safety budget.

She said: 'The county council is notified of all personal injury accidents attended by the police. Our records show there have been five personal injury accidents between Froggs Hall and Hollow Hill from January 1 to September 30 this year. These were all recorded as slight injuries.

'We have identified Hollow Hill junction as an accident cluster site as there have been six injury accidents over three years from April 2011 to March 2014. As with all accident cluster sites, we work closely with the police and carry out our own assessments to see if we can do anything to improve the road, such as changing its alignment, visibility or surfacing.'

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