Cyclist hurt at A47 blackspot

Three days into the New Year and a deadly stretch of A47 has already claimed another casualty.

Three days into the New Year and a deadly stretch of A47 has already claimed another casualty.

A 40-year-old cyclist from Norwich is in hospital with serious internal injuries after he was in a collision with a bus on the A47 at Honingham, outside Dereham, yesterday.

Over the past five years eight people have been killed or seriously injured on the single-carriageway stretch of road around the junction with Mattishall Road.

For Andrea Jackson it is a grim confirmation of what she has been saying since her 19-year-old son David was killed at the junction in October 2004.

She has long warned the deaths and injuries will mount at a rate of at least one-a-year until the Highways Agency begins promised safety work in 2009.

In May last year she delivered a 10,000-name petition to Downing Street calling for urgent improvements such as a roundabout or dualling of the single carriageway stretch.

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The cyclist was today in a stable condition in Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries.

Mrs Jackson asked how the government could put a price on human life.

“I understand it is down to finance but 2010 is ages away and these accidents are just waiting to happen,” she said.

“It's such a dangerous stretch of road, it is crazy, why should it take so long to do something?

“They have listened to our campaign but I am very disappointed with the pace of change.”

A Highways Agency spokesman said it could not commit itself to bringing forward safety improvements in light of the latest accident.

“The agency is committed to improving safety on the A47 at Honingham,” she said.

“Any incident on the network is regrettable, however it is not possible for the Agency to comment further on the accident yesterday until an accident report is submitted by the police.”

The agency has recently finished a £60,000-package of work blocking off the Mattishall Road entrance onto the A47 and carrying out traffic monitoring.

The agency will carry out £75,000-worth of feasibility studies of long-term improvements at the junction this financial year ahead of bidding for £2m to begin improvement work in 2009/10.

The accident involved a white Volvo Plaxton bus and happened at 3.15pm, 300-metres on the Norwich side of its junction with Mattishall Road.

* Anyone who saw the collision or who saw either the cyclist or the bus prior to it should contact PC Jason Walford at the Central Area Road Policing Unit in Wymondham on 0845 4564567.