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Villages becoming rush hour rat runs

PUBLISHED: 08:50 06 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:59 07 July 2010

Villages on back road routes along the A47 near Dereham are becoming rat-runs for traffic trying to avoid morning rush hour tailbacks.

Early morning rush hour traffic driving towards Norwich on the A47 has been reported to have backed up to the Dereham bypass on some days as traffic comes to a halt at the newly built roundabout at Honingham.

Villages on back road routes along the A47 near Dereham are becoming rat-runs for traffic trying to avoid morning rush hour tailbacks.

Early morning rush hour traffic driving towards Norwich on the A47 has been reported to have backed up to the Dereham bypass on some days as traffic comes to a halt at the newly built roundabout at Honingham.

To avoid it, it is thought motorists are cutting off and driving through villages including Mattishall, which is reported to have seen an increase in traffic.

The roundabout, constructed as a safety measure because of accidents at the junction, and stretches of the A47 either side of it is still under a 40mph limit while workers finish landscaping, footways and lighting.

Work is due to finish by the end of February, ahead of schedule.

Cynthia Wake, chairman of Mattishall Parish Council, said she had noticed an increase in traffic in the last two months - since the roundabout opened in December.

“Because all the cones are still there it is still restricted and I don't think anyone realised how many people live in Mattishall and go through that junction in the morning.

“We have the right of way so those coming from Dereham are held up and they have found ways of getting through.”

This included coming right through Mattishall and cutting in further along the A47 going down Burgh Lane via very narrow country roads, she said.

Steve Blake, leader of Mattishall's speedwatch team, also said villagers had noticed an increase in the morning rush-hour through traffic recently.

But he said that, by and large, motorists were heeding the village's 20mph and 30mph limits.

Work started at the junction in early September. Back in November the scheme was about two months ahead and the end date for work for estimated was early January.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: "Finishing work on the A47 Honingham roundabout is progressing well and nearing completion.

“The work is dependent on suitable weather conditions and we hope to continue with the completion of new footpaths on the north verge, white lining, lighting and landscaping once the weather improves.

“We hope to complete the project by the end of February."

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