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Roundabouts on Norwich Northern Distributor Road safe, council bosses say, despite crashes

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:04 05 March 2018

A commuter spotted a car which had gone on to the North Walsham Road roundabout on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Picture: Laura Bush

A commuter spotted a car which had gone on to the North Walsham Road roundabout on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Picture: Laura Bush

Laura Bush

The roundabouts on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road are safe, council bosses have insisted, despite a spate of drivers crashing on to them.

People using parts of the NDR that are open to traffic.
 Picture: ANTONY KELLY People using parts of the NDR that are open to traffic. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The roundabouts on the road have come in for criticism from some drivers using the road, who have said are confusing and poorly lit at night.

There have also been a number of times where drivers have crashed on to the roundabouts, such as on the one at the junction with North Walsham Road, which was caught on film.

And John Birchall, Norfolk County Council’s community liaison officer for the NDR, said: “We have had a few people who have misjudged the roundabouts.

“That’s happened several times, but we have had all the signage checked and all have passed the safety audits.

“So, while we are going to keep an eye on it, all the correct signage is in place and people driving with the care expected of them should not have any problems.”

Two sections of the 12.5-mile dual carriageway road - from the A1067 to the A140 and from there to the A1151 Wroxham Road - have already opened.

But the road is due to continue from the A1151 to the A47 at Postwick. The council is hoping to get that section open by Easter, so the road, given the number A1270 will be complete.

However, surfacing work on that section, which was due to take place last week, had to be suspended because of the snowy weather.

Contractors Tarmac had planned to spend the week working to surface the road, but asphalt needs to be laid at a certain temperature and would have cooled down too quickly, so the work was suspended.

The bill for the road is now estimated to be at least £205m - which works out a £16.5m a mile. County Hall is set to have to borrow to cover the higher than budgeted cost.

Supporters of the road say it will bring an economic boost to the region and ease pressure on existing roads, but critics say money would have been better spent on public transport improvements and say it will lead to more of the county’s countryside being concreted over.

The sections of the NDR which are already open have been added to Norfolk County Council’s gritting routes.

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