New proposed plans for a pilot scheme to tackle speeding in north Norfolk

A sign that is on the Coast Road in Salthouse which could be one of the roads in the pilot scheme.

A sign that is on the Coast Road in Salthouse which could be one of the roads in the pilot scheme. - Credit: Archant

A pioneering road safety scheme that could see white lines removed from dozens of roads in Norfolk has been unveiled.

Norfolk County Council is working with the Department of Transport (DfT) in a bid to reduce the speed limit on rural roads.

The £300,000 pilot scheme will scrub out the centre white lines and reduce the speed limit on B-roads and other roads from the national speed limit to 50 or 40mph.

This comes after it was found that 70% of road deaths and serious injuries in Norfolk occurred on non-built up rural single carriageway roads.

The pilot area will be along the north Norfolk coast and bounded by the A149 down to Sandringham and the A148 up to Sheringham.

Tracy Jessop, assistant director for Highways and Transport, said: 'We've been removing centre white lines for at least 15 years in locations that have the right characteristics and where there is community support. We follow national guidance when designing any scheme and know the removal of a centre white line wouldn't be suitable on main roads with high traffic flows, but it can work well on certain quieter roads which already enjoy lower traffic speeds.

'Fewer road markings can improve street safety for everyone by making drivers more cautious, increasing awareness and lowering speeds. This is a routine part of our network management approach to support objectives to reduce congestion, and improve journey time reliability and safety. We have recently recorded our lowest ever number of fatal accidents in the county.

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'We're in discussions with the Department for Transport on a scheme which would see a blanket reduction in speed limits to 40mph across an area of North Norfolk and part of this proposed scheme would include the removal of the centre white line on some narrower roads.'

Norfolk County Council is still in talks to secure the funding from the DfT. If secured, it will start a phased implementation programme which starts by assessing each location and speaking to communities and local councils.

The scheme, which has been running nationally since 2000, will be up and running six months after funding and would last for a minimum of two years.

If the scheme is successful, the potential annual accident savings are anticipated to be around £1m.

Three roads in London removed their centre lines in 2013. The results from the initiative found that vehicle speeds decreased by up to 13% without the lines.

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