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Two months after work on NDR roundabouts - has anything changed?

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:18 05 April 2019

Works have been completed on six roundabouts on the Broadland Northway. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Works have been completed on six roundabouts on the Broadland Northway. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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Improvements on controversial roundabouts on a major route in Norwich have been met with mixed reaction from drivers.

Norfolk County Council has added signs on the Broadland Northway to help drivers confused by the roundabouts. Picture: Neil DidsburyNorfolk County Council has added signs on the Broadland Northway to help drivers confused by the roundabouts. Picture: Neil Didsbury

When the Broadland Northway, often better known as the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR), fully opened in April last year, complaints over its roundabouts were quickly voiced.

People said they were badly signposted and poorly-lit at night, and that lane markings were unclear.

By October last year, there had already been 15 crashes resulting in injury on the road, with the vast majority happening at roundabouts.

Norfolk County Council said the problems were down to drivers approaching the roundabouts too quickly, but in November work began on six roundabouts.

Roughly £120,000 was set aside to replace damaged signs and kerbs, while countdown signs were also installed and lane markings were tweaked.

Two months on, we asked drivers whether they thought the work had made any difference.

Martin Wright, who owns WrightLearn Driving Instruction and last year ran a free session advising people how to use the roundabouts, said he had noticed improvements.

“I definitely think there has been an improvement since they have put in the markings, that has helped,” he said. “I still don’t think it’s perfect, but I’m not seeing as many issues as I was about a year ago.

An Audi A1 on the Broadland Northway roundabout. Picture: Brian LeeAn Audi A1 on the Broadland Northway roundabout. Picture: Brian Lee

“I think people are becoming more familiar with it now too, but the countdown markers and that sort of thing are helping.”

On Facebook, David Dodd said the problems boiled down to “too much speed carried onto the roundabout due to poor driving”.

He said while the new signs helped, they needed to be larger, and further back from the roundabouts, while the markings at each roundabout should be consistent.

Another person agreed, saying the crashes, which have seen several vehicles end up on the roundabouts, were down to “driver error every time”.

The Broadland Northway between Wroxham Road and Postwick. Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Broadland Northway between Wroxham Road and Postwick. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

But others criticised a lack of lighting at night, and said the lane markings were different across the roundabouts, which caused confusion.

Norfolk County Council said work had been completed in February, and had involved installing new ‘get in lane’ signs, countdown markers and extra lane markings.

“While the traffic management was in place we also repaired damage to signs and kerbs and carried out tree and shrub planting,” they said. “We will be continuing to monitor the route now the improvements have been made.”

Driving instructor Martin Wright. Photo: Lauren De Boise.Driving instructor Martin Wright. Photo: Lauren De Boise.

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