Work is almost finished at dangerous road junction

Hales roundabout. Picture: Mike Page

Hales roundabout. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

The new roundabout which is replacing the most dangerous junction in Norfolk is nearing completion.

The £1.63m roundabout at the Hales junction on the A146 is now fully open to traffic following months of upgrade work with the final touches being made.

Before the upgrade the junction had the worst accident record for a main road in Norfolk one person killed and fifty people injured at the old junction over the last ten years.

The roundabout was funded through money received by Norfolk County Council (NCC) from the Government’s National Productivity Investment Fund in January 2017.

NCC received £5.1m in funding from the government as part of that fund, with the money used in 2017/18 for local highway and transport improvement schemes.

Martin Wilby, chairman of NCC’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “The A146 is the main route between Norwich and Lowestoft and with the road getting busier over recent years, and the number of accidents higher than at any other main road junction in the county, it was clear this junction was a priority for improvement.

“We’re very grateful for everyone’s patience while the roundabout was built and it’s great to now see it fully open. It’s fantastic to have already heard from local people how much of an improvement the new junction is.”

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The improvement to the junction is hoped to improve safety and reduce journey times.

Margaret Stone, county councillor for the area, said: “This new junction was top of my list from the moment I first became a councillor in 2013 as the accident record sadly spoke for itself. It was so tricky in the past to join the A146 from the Yarmouth Road junction and with the road getting busier people had increasingly been facing long waits.

“I’m very proud to see this open just a few weeks after becoming Chairman of Norfolk County Council and I hope the new junction will not only make it easier to get around the south-east of the county but also help to keep people safe.”

Part of the scheme has also seen new lay-bys built which will now allow buses to stop safely on the A146. The council say it is hoped this will increase the number of buses able to serve Hales.