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'Get cracking' plea for A140 bypass

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 May 2009 | UPDATED: 11:05 12 July 2010

A call has been made for the county council to start work on the A140 Long Stratton bypass as soon as possible, with a roundabout to improve safety at the notorious Hempnall crossroads an urgent priority.

A call has been made for the county council to start work on the A140 Long Stratton bypass as soon as possible, with a roundabout to improve safety at the notorious Hempnall crossroads an urgent priority.

The plea has come from South Norfolk Council - the junction having been branded the “most lethally dangerous crossroads in the whole of Norfolk' by member Michael Windridge at Monday's council meeting.

The issue was raised by Liberal Democrat Dr Murray Gray, who received cross Party support in congratulating the highways authority on the recent completion of the A140 Pulham roundabout which has removed another accident blackspot.

However, the ruling Conservative group rejected his proposal that the county council should be urged to begin construction of the approved roundabout at Hempnall crossroads as the first stage of the long-awaited Long Stratton bypass.

The road improvement scheme has been granted planning consent although the necessary funding has yet to be secured.

South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller said he believed to only way to get the bypass was to tie it in with new housing development proposed in the authorities' joint core strategy.

“Exceptional progress is being made and we are tantalisingly close. Let's not be premature,” he said. “In due course we may have to settle for second best, but I don't see why we should at this particular moment.”

Some councillors have also been told there are technical reasons why Hempnall roundabout cannot be separated from the bypass, and built in advance.

Cllr Alison Thomas said: “Although we all wish that could happen, I think we have to be realistic if it isn't feasible.”

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