Campaign victory as roundabout approved

Transport campaigners and residents have won a major victory in their battle to introduce traffic calming measures on a busy stretch of road which claimed two lives in the space of six years.

Transport campaigners and residents have won a major victory in their battle to introduce traffic calming measures on a busy stretch of road which claimed two lives in the space of six years.

Norfolk County Council and the Highways Agency have recognised the importance of a roundabout at the Mattishall junction on the A47 Norwich to Dereham road, giving the green light for works to start next year.

Despite initial doubts about the need for the estimated £2m project, transport bosses have now yielded to pressure from residents and campaigners to approve the scheme and even bring it forward by one year.

Last night, Adrian Gunson, chairman of lobby group, A47 Alliance, said the news was “surprising, but very welcome.”

“It is very encouraging to see that the Highways Agency has agreed to start work on a roundabout at Mattishall after initially dismissing the need for one. They have been considering all options, including traffic lights, and the roundabout at the junction came out as a clear winner when looked at against other solutions. It is surprising to hear that work will start next spring, almost a year earlier than we anticipated.”

The decision follows a feasibility study carried out by the Highways Agency earlier this year, investigating the best location for traffic calming measures on the A47.

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Previous proposals included the Wood Lane junction less than a mile west, but experts rejected the idea, claiming it would be too costly while failing to improve safety in the accident blackspot.

But Richard Hawker, Hockering parish councillor who has been campaigning for a five-arm roundabout at Wood Lane said the announcement was “disappointing.”

“It's a shame that they have not taken the opportunity to review the proposals,” he said. “Even if the Mattishall Road roundabout is built over the coming months, we will be pressing ahead for a roundabout at Wood Lane which we believe is necessary to handle traffic using a proposed link road between the A47 and A1067.”

Last night, Andrea Jackson whose son, David was killed in a five-car crash at the junction in October 2005, also welcomed the project.

“It is great news to hear that they are going to build a roundabout at Mattishall. I am slightly disappointed that they are not going to dual the road, but pleased, on the other hand, to hear the project is being brought forward to improve safety in the area.”

The Highways Agency recently finished laying high-friction surfacing at the Mattishall Road C539 junction, which has provided a quieter and improved road surface for drivers and installed two vehicle-activated signs on the same stretch of road to alert drivers approaching the junction.

An exhibition featuring the details of the roundabout will be held at neighbouring Honingham Village Hall at the beginning of November. No further details have been released.

ends

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