Roundabout plan for A47 blackspot

It has been an 18-month battle to improve a stretch of the A47 which has ruined eight lives.But yesterday road safety campaigners - led by bereaved mother Andrea Jackson - were celebrating after the government revealed plans for a roundabout on the single carriageway stretch between Dereham and Norwich.

It has been an 18-month battle to improve a stretch of the A47 which has ruined eight lives.

But yesterday, road safety campaigners, led by bereaved mother Andrea Jackson, were celebrating after the government revealed plans for a roundabout on the single carriageway stretch between Dereham and Norwich.

Work on the £2m roundabout at the A47's junction with Mattishall Road, at Honingham, could begin as early as next year - a revelation to campaigners who had feared they would have to wait until 2009 at the earliest.

Cars leaving the busy junction often have to cross two lanes of 60mph traffic, and eight people have been killed or seriously injured on the surrounding stretch of the A47 over the past six years.

The single carriageway stretch is used by about 23,500 vehicles a day and has a serious accident rate about twice that of similar A-class roads nationwide.

Mrs Jackson, of Mattishall, has been fighting for the roundabout since her 19-year-old son David was killed on the road in October 2005 - presenting a 10,000-name petition demanding action to Downing Street in May last year.

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She said: "I am absolutely buzzing - this has come out of the blue but it is what I have been calling for all along.

"It will not bring my David back, but will help protect other people from losing their lives at this overloaded and dangerous junction. It goes to show that if you really want something you have got to keep fighting for it; it's hard to ignore the views of 10,000 people."

Adrian Gunson, chairman of the A47 Alliance, welcomed the announcement of a detailed design for the roundabout on the junction. But he said the group would continue to fight for the single-carriageway stretch of the A47 between Norwich and Dereham to be dualled.

A feasibility study backed the need for the roundabout and the Highways Agency will now determine the roundabout's exact design, location and how quickly it can carry out the work.

Construction could begin next year, providing the agency does not need to buy extra land.