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Reports of unclear and worn road markings in Norwich rise by 50pc

The box junction by Castle Mall car park. Photo: Bill Smith

The box junction by Castle Mall car park. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2008

The number of reports made over worn or missing road markings in Norwich rose by more than 50pc in one year.

According to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act, the number of reports Norwich City Council received relating to the markings rose between 2017 and 2018.

In 2017, 45 reports were made, while last year there were 69 up to December 21 - a rise of 53pc.

They were made in relation to locations “all over the city”, the council said.

Many of the drivers we spoke to cited the city’s yellow box junctions as problem areas.

One person said the junction at the Chapelfield/Grapes Hill roundabout was faded, while another said the same of the St Stephens roundabout just down the road.

Another said the box junction before Carrow Bridge, for the King Street junction, was worn, and another person bemoaned the quality of the hatching at the Kett’s Hill roundabout.

Elsewhere, one person said markings between Norwich train station and the football ground meant it was “dangerous” for pedestrians to cross roads, with drivers not always recognising junctions.

Another person cited a box junction on Riverside Road and said: “As it’s missing a yellow cross hatch block to prevent cars from blocking the alley entry to my workplace parking, most cars block it when waiting at the traffic lights because you can’t see any markings anymore to prevent them from idling on it.”

A Norwich City Council spokesperson said they welcomed reports relating to road markings around the city, and that, with social media and the website, it was now much easier to make reports.

They said while they worked to maintain and refresh markings, their budget of roughly £51,000 from the county council annually had to cover costs of closing roads during work, informing drivers and organising diversions, which increased the cost of some projects.

Unenforceable box junction

In 2016, the city council said a box junction had become so faded it was now unenforceable.

Confused drivers were assured they were able to enter the yellow box junction at Grapes Hill roundabout in Norwich in August of that year.

Under the Highway Code, road users should not enter the boxes at roundabouts unless they can cross over it completely without stopping.

But the fading of the box junction at the roundabout left some confused, especially because the council had also painted white lane lines.

At the time, a spokesperson said: “Because the box junction markings have become increasingly faint it means they’re now unenforceable, so drivers are encouraged to use the instructive lane markings to help position themselves within the junction.”

The council said it would cost a “significant amount” to remove the box markings, so they would be allowed to fade over time.

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