Ian Corsie: Norfolk’s county surveyor and campaigner for better roads

A former county surveyor responsible for thousands of miles of the county's roads, Ian Corsie, has died aged 79, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

He retired as Norfolk's county surveyor in 1987 aged 56 after serving for 11 years and then became in great demand as a consulting engineer on projects across the country.

Born at Durham of a Scottish family, he read civil engineering at the University of Glasgow and worked for contractors McAlpine before serving in local government in Yorkshire and Sussex.

He became county surveyor in May 1979 having been three years as deputy to Peter Deavin, who enjoyed almost legendary status for his success in transforming the county's poor road network of some 6,000 miles.

Mr Corsie, who took over at a time of financial stringency, managed to achieve much with the more limited resources available. And on retirement, he was able to reflect that the long-awaited Acle and Thetford bypass schemes had reached fruition.

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The seeds of one of the largest infrastructure projects, the Norwich southern bypass, had been planted during his tenure. Other significant projects included the first phase of the Attleborough bypass. This short length of dual carriageway, which then returned to single traffic, was officially opened by the then transport minister Lynda Chalker, who could not really understand the logic of building such a short stretch of new road.

Mr Corsie pressed for more spending on roads and also supported moves to encourage more use of the bus network, which was coming under acute financial pressure. On retirement, he commented: 'Neither the rate of development of our road system nor the standard to which it has been possible to maintain has kept pace with the growth in population and traffic.'

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After living at Mulbarton for some years, he spent his final years in Wroxham. But in retirement, he was always active and took classes at Wensum Lodge in Norwich. He was chairman of the Friends of Wensum Lodge in May 1998 when a major �35,000 project to improve the facilities was completed.

He was also a founder member good supporter of the Rotary Club of Norwich Marchesi for many years.

He leaves a widow, Kathleen, children and grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at St Faith's Crematorium on Wednesday, November 10 at 2pm.

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