Work starts on blackspot roundabout
WORK started yesterday on a new £1.5m roundabout to improve safety at the notorious Pulham Market crossroads accident blackspot. The crossroads has seen a steady toll of accidents, with 31 people injured - five seriously - in 18 accidents over the last 10 years.
WORK started yesterday on a new £1.5m roundabout to improve safety at the notorious Pulham Market crossroads accident blackspot.
The crossroads has seen a steady toll of accidents, with 31 people injured - five seriously - in 18 accidents over the last 10 years.
Although measures taken by Norfolk County Council have had some effect, it has remained dangerous, and there is a huge sense of relief among local residents and road users that reducing risks at the crossing has been made a top priority.
Council chairman Wyndham Northam, who took the controls of a digger to launch the project, said: “I have no doubt that everyone who knows this junction will believe that £1.5m being invested by the county council in this roundabout is money well spent.”
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Adrian Gunson, the council's planning and transportation spokesman, said the Pulham Crossroads scheme had taken all the money allocated for major schemes this year.
“I would dearly love to have the money for the Long Stratton bypass. That will cost in the order of £30m, and without government and regional support there's little chance of us doing Long Stratton bypass. But I shall keep up the pressure, with local members of the county council and district council, for the bypass. That is absolutely crucial to the A140 - at this point it carries 15,000 vehicles a day in two-way flow,” he added.
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Mr Gunson praised the contribution made by residents campaigning for
the new roundabout - a view shared
by local county councillor Fran
Pitt-Pladdy, who said: “It's been a
joint effort. There has been
terrific pressure, particularly from Pulham Market.”
The launch of the project also brought into sharp focus the need for similar junction improvements on the A140 at Hempnall - scheduled as part of the bypass scheme which has stalled.
Beverley Spratt said: “I have been working towards this roundabout at Pulham ever since I was elected county councillor for West Depwade, and now we have got to try to do something at Hempnall Crossroads. It's a terrible junction.”
Stella Rice, who represents Long Stratton, said: “Now we have got this roundabout we will be pressing for one at Hempnall, which, with due respect, I think is more dangerous.”
Meanwhile, work on the Pulham Market improvements is expected to last for six months, during which there will be traffic disruption. Mr Gunson said if all went to plan, the project would be completed by February.
He added: “Interestingly, we have decided not to have lighting on the roundabout for environmental reasons. We want to cut light out of the countryside where we can and also to help save on energy.”