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'The queues are still big' - Concern £4.6m traffic shake-up has shunted congestion closer to city

PUBLISHED: 16:16 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:16 04 July 2019

A �4.6m shake-up of Dereham Road between Longwater Lane and Britannia Way have been completed this week. Picture: Norfolk County Council

A �4.6m shake-up of Dereham Road between Longwater Lane and Britannia Way have been completed this week. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Norfolk County Council

A £4.6m revamp of a major edge-of-city junction has been completed after 18 months of disruption - but there are fears it could shift congestion further along the road.

The roadworks project close to the Norfolk Showground, to widen the A1074 Dereham Road between Longwater Lane and Britannia Way in Costessey, finished a few days ago, having been started in February 2018.

The works have widened a stretch of the road to take four lanes of traffic, which council bosses said would make the road more "fit for the future" with new housing developments on the way.

And while some have welcomed the changes, others working in the area felt it was shunting congestion closer to the city centre.

Cameron Clarke, a member of staff at Longwater Construction Supplies on William Frost Way, said: "I use the road twice a day and in all honesty I haven't noticed a great amount of difference and it is just moving the traffic further up the road. It may be a little easier, but not significantly."

A £4.6m scheme in Dereham Road has been completed. Pictured are: (front) Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport; (back, left to right) Chris Dashper, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership's head of programmes, Mark Oliver, from Tarmac, Dan Hume, Norfolk County Council assistant resident engineer, Paul Eastall from Tarmac and Quentin Brogdale, Norfolk County Council resident engineer. Pic: Norfolk County Council.A £4.6m scheme in Dereham Road has been completed. Pictured are: (front) Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport; (back, left to right) Chris Dashper, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership's head of programmes, Mark Oliver, from Tarmac, Dan Hume, Norfolk County Council assistant resident engineer, Paul Eastall from Tarmac and Quentin Brogdale, Norfolk County Council resident engineer. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

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One of his colleagues, who did not wish to be named, added: "I feel the congestion has got worse further down the road, near the Cherry Tree pub. The queues are still big there."

Elliott Roe, a fitness manager at Bannatyne Health Club, said: "I live in Hellesdon and for me it seems so much easier to get in and out of work. I work shifts so don't use it at its busiest times often, but when I did I could queue for ages - but now it seems a lot better."

John Balls, general manager of Ford and Slater on Longwater Business Park, said: "Personally, I have always tended to avoid the Dereham Road, however traffic does seem to be flowing better now.

"I feel what they have done is better, but it has only really moved the congestion further along. Only once a western link has been built for the NDR will our traffic woes really be over."

Tim East, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Costessey, said the scheme would "hugely benefit" people who lived in the town.

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