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Highways agency outlines plan to improve A47 at Dereham meeting

PUBLISHED: 13:58 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:34 30 November 2017

The A47 at Scarning. Picture: Ian Burt

The A47 at Scarning. Picture: Ian Burt

Highways agencies have discussed plans for improving some of Norfolk’s roads during a public meeting in Dereham.

The Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel was attended by a number of Dereham residents who were keen to ask Highways Norfolk and Highways England about safety improvements and traffic calming in and around the town.

It was the first time that agency representatives had attended the bi-monthly meeting and they discussed plans to improve the A47 in 2018, including resurfacing work and improved signage.

Members of the panel highlighted the A47 at Scarning as a particularly high risk area and requested a 50mph limit is implemented an addition to the resurfacing work.

Highways England indicated that improvements in Scarning are likely to begin in April or May next year and will take place overnight to mitigate the impact on traffic.

The Scarning stretch has been heavily criticised since 69-year-old Robert Liggett was killed in a collision in September. Mayor Hilary Bushell said the Town Council would pressure Highways until the road is improved.

A representative for Highways Norfolk, which maintains the roads in Dereham, said they hope to improve traffic flow by upgrading traffic lights and removing a traffic island on Yaxham Road.

Residents also discussed policing in Dereham and the surrounding villages. Officers confirmed their current priorities are to tackle shop lifting, drugs and speeding.

During a discussion about home break-ins, advice was given to homeowners who plan to go away during the festive period, such as to ensure their property looks occupied by leaving bins out and keeping a light on.

Terry Cross, administrator of Norfolk Neighbourhood Watch, said: “It was a great meeting with positive answers from Stephen Greenhill of Highways England and Ben Rayner, county council engineer for transport and highways. This is what these meetings are for.

“I’ve had some people to contact me to ask about improvements on other roads in the town but these problems cannot be highlighted unless people attend the meetings so I would encourage people to ensure they attend in January.”

The next meeting is at 7pm on January 31 at the Breckland Chambers in Dereham.

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