Work starts on £1.6m improvements to Norfolk's most dangerous junction
PUBLISHED: 08:42 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:51 23 January 2018
Archant © 2018
Work has started on a £1.6m project to improve Norfolk's most dangerous main road junction.
The scheme will see a new roundabout built at the junction of the A146 Beccles Road/B1136 Yarmouth Road in Hales, along with the construction of new laybys to allow buses to stop safely along the route.
Funded by the government’s new National Productivity Investment Fund, the junction was identified as one in urgent need of improvement after Norfolk County Council assessed its accident record and found it to be the most dangerous in the county.
Speaking earlier this month, Martin Wilby, chairman of the county 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.”
Work was due to start on the construction of the roundabout on January 15 after preliminary work was carried out on the site. However a council spokesman said due to the bad weather there had been a delay to the preliminary works, and the team will now run both works concurrently from this week.
Although workmen are on site, there will not be any traffic management systems in operation for the next couple of weeks.
Then from February 5, a temporary 30mph speed limit will then come into force and safety barriers will be put up along the roadside.
A council spokesman said temporary traffic lights would not need to be used until near the end of the project, with exact dates still to be confirmed. Some overnight road closures will also be necessary as the work comes to an end, with more information due to be published closer to the time.
The roundabout is due to open in May.
The improvements have been welcomed by members of the public, who were pleased to hear the junction was being made a priority.
Resident Phil Grimes said: “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.”