'Long Stratton bypass is next': A140 roundabout completion celebrated
PUBLISHED: 13:17 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:21 16 December 2019
The completion of the £4.57m new Hempnall roundabout on the A140 has been marked with councillors now targeting the Long Stratton bypass as their next goal.
Work on the new roundabout began in May at what was a notorious accident blackspot where 11 personal injury accidents have occurred in last five years.
Two thirds of the crashes in which people were injured happened when vehicles were joining the A140 from the side roads at the previous crossroads.
County and district councillors, representative from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which invested £650,000 in the scheme, and workers from contractors Tarmac, celebrated the end of construction.
Long Stratton county councillor Alison Thomas said: "It's been a long battle and it is something that is so essential because we have had so many accidents here. It was so bad that it put people off crossing here so people were rat running causing all sorts of chaos.
The road is used by 22,000 vehicles a day both passing through and a lot of local traffic trying to access their local services, so it is essential for everybody."
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said the focus now moved on the Long Stratton bypass to ease congestion and unlock growth.
He said: "Further improvements to the A140 south of the roundabout are hopefully on the way. In October this year we secured £500,000 funding from the DfT to allow us to take the Long Stratton bypass project forward to the point where we can secure full funding.
"We're working hard to develop the detailed business case needed to take this vital scheme to the next stage."
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Mrs Thomas added: "The government have made it very clear that they want to invest in local infrastructure and want more housing.
"The Long Stratton bypass is oven-ready, to coin a phrase Boris used. We are going to be lobbying hard for it. The election is over and now we have to get on and provide the infrastructure people need."
The roundabout completion was marked with the planting of a lime tree. Over the winter a further 23 trees will be planted to replace the one large and 17 small trees that had to be removed. More than 1km of hedgerow will also be planted, four times than removed.