Concerns over cars driving down wrong side of road as new layout unveiled
- Credit: Bethany Wales
After months of roadworks which left traffic gridlocked and traders frustrated, Attleborough's new road layout has been unveiled - but was it worth the wait?
The £4.5m project, which has seen Surrogate Street open to two-way traffic with new traffic lights in place, began in September, and the first phase of the project, which has cost around £700,000, finished late last week.
While some rejoiced that traffic was moving freely through the town for the first time since September 3, others expressed concern that not enough had been done to help drivers navigate the new system.
Alyson Brett, owner at the Courtyard Tearoom on Church Street, said she was relieved to see traffic moving through the town centre after a tough three months.
Mrs Brett, who saw profits at the café fall by 50pc while the roadworks were in place, said: 'Its definitely different and there seems to be less traffic in town but time will tell. The roadworks absolutely decimated everything, nobody could have predicted the impact it would have on businesses but there wasn't enough support once we spoke about the problems we were having.'
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Kerrie Carter, who works at the Coffee Lounge on Church Street, said she was concerned that the new layout was not clear enough and had witnessed cars driving the wrong way down Surrogate Street.
She said: 'I don't think it's safe at the moment. It's not signed clear enough for a new road. I saw a car coming alongside me on the wrong side and men in high vis jackets were having to wave people onto the right side.'
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Janet Carr, who lives in Rockland All Saints, near Attleborough, agreed the changes were confusing.
The 72 year old said: 'I've lived here for that long it's hard to get used to and the signs don't help because they're so confusing. You need more than those arrows on the ground and when its dark and you can't see them anyway.'
A Norfolk County Council spokesperson said: 'We know new road layouts can take a little while for people to get used to so there are lots of 'new road layout' and 'changed priorities ahead' signs, and plenty of two-way traffic triangular warning signs on display to make people aware of the changes.
'We've also painted temporary directional arrows on the carriageway on Surrogate Street to help guide people. We'd urge people to make sure they follow all the signage and road markings that are in place.'