Bid to make A11 blackspot safer

A notorious accident blackspot on the A11 could be made safer for motorists if plans put forward by the Highways Agency are approved.The junction with Station Lane, which runs between Ketteringham and Hethersett, includes two gaps in the central reservation where cars can cut across four lanes of fast-moving traffic.

A notorious accident blackspot on the A11 could be made safer for motorists if plans put forward by the Highways Agency are approved.

The junction with Station Lane, which runs between Ketteringham and Hethersett, includes two gaps in the central reservation where cars can cut across four lanes of fast-moving traffic.

According to figures from the Highways Agency there are around four serious road traffic collisions each year at the site, over three quarters of which are caused by people attempting to cross the trunk road.

This poor safety record has led the government department to propose improvements including closing the gaps and adding slipways at the junction.

The move would stop drivers cutting across the four busy lanes of traffic and improve the safety record of the road, it argues.

As well as closing the gaps, the Highway Agency has said it hopes to improve visibility at the junction by purchasing a 'tiny piece' of land next to the junction, clearing it of vegetation and creating improved slipways.

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Jacques Azulay of the Highways Agency said the gaps needed to be closed because of the road's poor safety record.

'It's government policy to close these gaps when they're proven to not be safe,' he said.

A public consultation into the �450,000 scheme has been launched.

Jon Herbert, local district and county councillor, last week welcomed the measures.

'It's a dangerous crossing. You take your life in your hands when you pull out of Ketteringham. My view is that closing that gap is a good thing. I'm sure it is a positive move,' he said.

The plan would also have a positive side effect in stopping the 'rat run' of traffic through nearby villages, he said.

The A11 improvement proposals come ahead of a public inquiry into the dualling of the last section of the road between Thetford and Barton Mills, which begins on November 24.

Residents have until December 3 to comment on the proposals for the Ketteringham junction by writing to the Highways Agency, Network Operations Division, Orders Team, Woodlands, Manton Lane, Manton Industrial Estate, Bedford, MK41 7LW. The plans are also on display at Norfolk County Council and Hethersett Library.

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