Victory for A47 safety campaigners

Road safety campaigners are celebrating after the government revealed plans for a roundabout on the notorious single carriageway stretch of the A47 between Dereham and Norwich.

Road safety campaigners are celebrating after the government revealed plans for a roundabout on the notorious single carriageway stretch of the A47 between Dereham and Norwich.

Work on the £2m roundabout at its 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.

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.

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

Chairman of the A47 Alliance Adrian Gunson welcomed the announcement of a detailed design for the roundabout on the junction.

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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 now the Highways Agency will determine the roundabout's exact design, location and how quickly it can carry out the work.

Ranjit Mistry, Highways Agency A47 route performance manager, said it could begin building it next year, providing the agency does not need to buy any extra land.

He said: “The agency is determined to improve safety on the A47 and we're working hard to deliver the safety improvement work as quickly as possible.”

The agency will set a firm timetable for the works ahead of public consultation on the scheme this summer.

It recently finished laying the high-friction surfacing at the Mattishall Road C539 junction, which has provided a quieter and improved road surface for drivers.

This summer the agency will also be installing two vehicle-activated signs on the A47 to alert drivers approaching the Mattishall Road junction.