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Fresh calls for A47 safety improvements after death of van driver

PUBLISHED: 14:05 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:05 30 August 2019

A van driver died following a crash on the A47 at Scarning, near Dereham. Picture: Archant

A van driver died following a crash on the A47 at Scarning, near Dereham. Picture: Archant

Archant

The death of a van driver has sparked fresh calls for a "dangerous" stretch of road to be made safer.

Lynda Turner, Breckland councillor for Scarning, says safety on the A47 must be improved. Picture: Keith MindhamLynda Turner, Breckland councillor for Scarning, says safety on the A47 must be improved. Picture: Keith Mindham

Two vehicles, a van and lorry, crashed on the A47 just after 6am on Thursday, August 29, near to Draytonhall Lane at Scarning.

After closing the road for seven hours, police later confirmed the driver of the van had been pronounced dead at the scene.

Several motorists - including four during a 12-month period - have died on the stretch from Dereham to Scarning in recent years, prompting mid Norfolk MP George Freeman to previously label the road a "death trap".

Lynda Turner, Breckland councillor for Scarning, said another death in the area must be learned from.

MP George Freeman and councillor William Richmond met Highways England in 2018 to discuss the Draytonhall Lane junction. Picture: Office of George Freeman MPMP George Freeman and councillor William Richmond met Highways England in 2018 to discuss the Draytonhall Lane junction. Picture: Office of George Freeman MP

"Myself and my fellow councillor for Scarning, Paul Hewett, wish to send our sincere condolences to the family of the driver," said Mrs Turner.

"I assumed it was serious because of the knock-on effect on traffic. When I heard about it on the radio I thought 'oh no - not again'.

"What really stunned me was people's impatience at sitting in traffic because of a serious incident. We all had places to be, but at least we were still alive.

"The key outcome from this is flagging up that dangerous stretch of road, which has been a serious problem in recent years. Although Highways has done remedial work, the whole stretch needs to be redesigned."

County councillor for Dereham William Richmond says dualling of the A47 is some way off. Picture: Archant Library/SuppliedCounty councillor for Dereham William Richmond says dualling of the A47 is some way off. Picture: Archant Library/Supplied

County councillor for the area, William Richmond, said major changes to this section of the A47 were some way off.

"It's very sad news and my thoughts are with the driver's family and friends," he said. "I'd also like to express thanks to the emergency services for their efforts.

"There have been numerous fatalities there over the years. It's a very straight road and I think some people misjudge the speed of other cars.

"Dualling the road would arguably make it safer and in future that will happen, but it probably won't be soon as roads near Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn are more of a priority."

A spokesman for Dereham Town Council added: "We don't know the circumstances of this accident, but it is always sad when somebody dies unnecessarily.

"We hope this extreme sadness reminds people to drive carefully and maintain a safe speed at all times."

- Police are asking anyone with information or dashcam footage to call 101.

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