New £4.4m roundabout to be built at Norfolk crash blackspot
- Credit: Archant
A £4.4m roundabout is to replace a junction at a notorious crash blackspot could be built by the autumn, after the scheme was granted planning permission.
The Hempnall crossroads on the A140 has been the scene of nine crashes in the past five years, with 13 people hurt, two of them seriously.
Norfolk County Council secured just over £3m from the Department for Transport towards the £4.4m cost of the road. The rest of the cash will come from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, developer funding and the community infrastructure levy - a tax on housebuilding.
Martin Wilby, chairman of the council's environment, development and transport committee, said: 'This is great news and means that we will be able to start the main construction work in the spring, and expect to see the roundabout open by this autumn.'
An informal public consultation on the plan, that ran in March and April 2018, showed 93pc of people who responded either agreed or strongly agreed with the proposals, with 76.7pc (350 people) saying they strongly supported it.
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Alison Thomas, county councillor for the Long Stratton division, which includes the Hempnall crossroads, said: 'The case for an improvement at this junction was clear as the accident record sadly speaks for itself.
'The new roundabout will make this section of road safer and enable motorists to access the A140 at this point without the need to detour for safety purposes.'
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Two thirds of the injury accidents at the current crossroads involved vehicles emerging from the side roads onto the A140, with the remainder being tail end crashes in traffic and single vehicle loss of control incidents.
Some preparatory work has already begun and a temporary road closure of the B1527 Hempnall Road will run from Monday, January 28 to Friday, February 1. That will be ebtween the junctions with the A140 and Brick Kiln Lane and there will be no access to Hempnall from the A140 crossroads.
Councillors have also agreed that a roundabout should be built at another of the county's crash blackspots.
The junction of the B1146 near Fakenham, where it meets Hempton Road, is to be repalced with a £1.2m roundabout.