Town council launches new £61,000 bid to tackle traffic gridlock

A typically busy scene at Tavern Lane in Dereham. Picture: ARCHANT.

A typically busy scene at Tavern Lane in Dereham. Picture: ARCHANT.

Town councillors have agreed to invest £61,000 in a fresh bid to tackle traffic gridlock in Dereham.

At Dereham Town Council's meeting on Tuesday evening, councillors voted unanimously in favour of commissioning its own transport study for the town.

The move was in reaction to growing concerns in Dereham that the gridlock faced by motorists in Dereham on a daily basis will become even worse in future years due to population growth and little is being done to address the problems.

A recent transport study, commissioned by Breckland Council, estimates that traffic could increase in the town by 30pc by 2035.

Town councillors and residents felt this study lacked detail and did not go far enough in its proposals to mitigate the problems.

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Dereham deputy mayor Hilary Bushell said: 'We were in unanimous agreement that we need to go ahead with this.

'This is a significant investment for the town council but we would be failing in our duty to the people of Dereham if we did not move forward with this.

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'The information which comes out of this study will never be lost.

'It will form part of our Neighbourhood Plan and will always be there to provide evidence when new housing developments come forward.

'It is very important to make sure this evidence is there before we say yes or no on these ad hoc developments.

'We are trying to work with Breckland Council and Norfolk County Council for the good of the people of Dereham.'

Dereham Town Council had requested to Breckland Council that the scope and methodology of its Dereham Transport Study be extended to provide evidence in relation to the weekend peak hour transport patterns, to comprehensively evidence the existing traffic situation in the town, and to better assess the proposed development options in the area.

Town councillors believe the Dereham Transport Study does not adequately reflect the existing situation, nor does it robustly consider the future situation.

The town council will be working closely with Norfolk County Council to ensure that its study is fit for purpose.

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