Police say A47 dualling would 'dramatically reduce' crashes

The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. Pic: Highways England.

The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. Pic: Highways England. - Credit: Highways England

Police have backed plans to dual part of the A47 in Norfolk, saying it will "dramatically reduce" crashes in bottlenecked traffic.

There have been 33 crashes in which people were killed or hurt on the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham over the past decade, Norfolk police said.

Plans to dual that section of the A47 were lodged in February.

The proposals, to cost between £50m and £100m, are to replace the existing single-lane section with a new two-lane dual carriageway, 70m south of the existing road.

Safety improvements will also be made to the Yarmouth Road junction, closing the right turn and adding a dedicated lane to join the A47.

The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. Pic: Highways England.

The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. Pic: Highways England. - Credit: Highways England

A new bridge will also be added over the carriageway to connect Blofield and North Burlingham, and to take traffic from Blofield toward Great Yarmouth.

The Planning Inspectorate will decide whether to grant a Development Consent Order and an inquiry will be held.

And Norfolk police has submitted a report to the Planning Inspectorate backing the proposals.

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The report detailed how there had been one fatal crash, three serious crashes and 29 crashes where people had been slightly injured over a 10 year period.

The report stated: "The collision data shows a higher than average number of collisions over the 10 year period than would be normally expected.

"Anything that can be done to improve the infrastructure and safety of the road is welcomed by the police."

The report said 83pc of crashes were due to drivers hitting stationary vehicles, colliding with traffic built up behind stationary vehicles waiting to turn into junctions, or were caused by drivers pulling out from junctions and laybys "indiscriminately or without the necessary due care and attention".

It said: "Removing the priority junctions in favour of merge lanes will dramatically reduce the amount of times that traffic will be stationary on the main carriageway, in turn causing tailbacks and rear end collisions.

"It will also dramatically prevent the errant driver pulling out without the necessary due care and attention."

A preliminary meeting about the planning inquiry will be held next month, but a full timetable for the inquiry itself has yet to be set.

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