Norfolk’s most dangerous junction to be improved with £1.6m roundabout project starting this month
- Credit: Archant
It has the unenviable reputation as the most dangerous main road junction in Norfolk, with the most injuries in the past decade.
However, work is to get underway on a £1.6m project to improve the safety of the A146 Hales junction, with the addition of a new roundabout among the changes.
Funded by the government’s new National Productivity Investment Fund, the changes will see a roundabout replace the current junction, along with the addition of new lay-bys to allow buses to safely stop and serve the village.
The junction was identified as one in urgent need of improvement, with Norfolk County Council assessing its accident record and finding it to be the most dangerous in the county.
Martin Wilby, chairman of the council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “The accident statistics spoke for themselves so it was clear this junction was a priority.
“The A146 is the main route between Norwich and Lowestoft and we’ve seen it getting busier over the years.
“This has contributed to a relatively high number of accidents at or near the junction, with 50 people injured over the last 10 years and one person losing their life.”
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The improvements have been welcomed by members of the public, who were pleased to hear it was being made a priority.
Alan Mason, who has lived in Hales for almost 14 years, said: “It’s a lovely, calm village apart from the traffic problems, which have got ever greater since we’ve been here.
“Traffic build-up can sometimes be quite substantial and people run out of patience.”
Phil Grimes, another resident, added: “The vital thing is it is going to be much safer - it’s going to save lives.
“People are massively in favour of it, they’re just waiting to see it completed. I think they will be very, very happy.”
Preliminary work on the site gets under way next week, with work on the roundabout itself beginning on Monday, January 15.
The majority of the roundabout will be built to the west of the existing A146, with a temporary 30mph speed limit being implemented. There will then later be temporary traffic lights and road closures.