New bid to tackle traffic gridlock in Dereham
PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 January 2017
A fresh bid to tackle Dereham’s traffic problems has been launched with town councillors urging Norfolk County Council to work with them on a highways plan for the town.
In a letter to county councillors, William Richmond and Paul Gilmour, Dereham Town Council writes: “The council has a number of concerns as to the way in which the town has developed in recent years and the way it could develop in the future.
“Over a number of years the town has developed in a piecemeal fashion, with additional housing estates being located at what seems to be the best location.
“This style of growth has, until recently, served the town well, with no undue impact on the quality of life and the ability of cars and lorries to move around the town’s road network.
“The town’s road network has however now reached the point where a number of key junctions operate well over their original design capacity at peak times, the resulting congestions is having a serious impact on both businesses and the quality of life of residents.”
Dereham mayor Phillip Duigan said: “We want the issue to go before the county council’s environment and transport committee. We need a more comprehensive study of Dereham traffic, to find out what improvements are feasible and to see if there is money available for them.”
More than 100 people attended a recent public meeting at Dereham Memorial Hall to vent their anger over the growing traffic problems in the town.
Breckland Council commissioned a transport study of Dereham to inform the Local Plan, but critics said it lacked detail and proposed mitigation measures do not go far enough.
Dereham is earmarked for 750 new homes by 2036. The transport assessment concludes that Dereham’s roads are already oversubscribed and estimates they could be 30pc busier in 20 years.
Mr Duigan said: “Dereham is over its limit now and the situation will become worse in the future with the housing growth and with the dualling of the A47.
“I believe the county council has budgeted for two such traffic studies and we are pushing for Dereham to be at the front of the queue.
“We are asking the county council for help and urging them to do the work they should already be doing.”
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