Are Norfolk’s roads getting more dangerous?

Flowers and tributes left at the scene of a fatal collision between a bus and a teenager on Ormesby Road in Caister on Sea. Flowers and tributes left at the scene of a fatal collision between a bus and a teenager on Ormesby Road in Caister on Sea.

Monday, March 3, 2014
11:33 AM

Three deaths on Norfolk’s roads in the last few days of February once again raised safety fears. But are our roads getting more dangerous? And where do the dangers lie? The EDP has obtained the locations of every fatal crash in the county going back more than a decade.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The deaths of three people in separate incidents on Norfolk’s roads has put the issue of road safety under the spotlight.

Two teenage pedestrians were killed in separate crashes at Caister, near Great Yarmouth, and Stockton, near Beccles, on Saturday, February 22 while on the previous day an 80-year-old man died from injuries he suffered in a crash at Stradsett, near Downham Market.

These are the most recent deaths in a tragic toll on Norfolk’s roads which have given us all cause for concern.

But the statistics received through a freedom-of-information (FoI) request, identifying the location of every fatal crash in Norfolk between 2002 and 2013, show that road deaths overall in the county have been going down.

There were 40 fatal crash location sites in 2013, compared with 70 in 2002.

Of almost 600 fatal crash locations during the whole of the period, 23 have happened in the Norwich area, 17 in the Yarmouth area, 14 in the King’s Lynn area, 12 in the Thetford area, eight in the Terrington St Clement, Tilney All Saints and Upwell areas, seven in Walsoken and six in Hethersett.

Mike Stonard, cabinet member of Norwich City Council for environment, development and transport, said he was not surprised by the figures, which showed there were more fatal crashes in Norwich than anywhere else over the past 12 years.

He said: “You’re talking about an urban area where there’s more road traffic and more interchange between pedestrians and cyclists, there’s greater density of population, more road miles being travelled.

Police view

Chief Insp Chris Spinks, head of roads policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “You would
expect in urban areas there to be more collisions because there’s more vehicle movement and have contact with pedestrians and cyclists so that’s all part of it.”

In more rural areas, where there are fewer people around, Chf Insp Spinks said there might be “higher speed” involved in crashes, but he insisted that whatever reason for a crash, roads policing officers targeted routes where there had been a history of crashes.

He said: “Every collision where injury is suffered affects lives, but fatal consequences can, of course, be much more far reaching.

“Over the last 10 years the trend has shown a steady decline in the number of killed and serious injury collisions and we continue to work with our partners in local authorities and other emergency services to ensure this trend is maintained.

“We analyse the causes of these collisions and use this data to inform the deployment of our roads policing teams, both in terms of location and focus on causes, particularly the Fatal Four driving behaviours: seat belt usage, speed, drink drive and mobile phone use.

“We not only enforce and advise on the roads but we also provide education programmes to specific road user groups such as young drivers, for example.

“So far from September 2013, our officers have delivered presentations in schools, further education and other groups to more than 4,000 young people.”

“The question is what can we do about it, as one road death is too many.”

Mr Stonard said the council targeted what limited budget there was at improving junctions where there was a history of serious injury and fatal crashes.

The council is also behind other safety schemes like 20mph zones. But he said the key was in trying to reduce the amount of traffic on the road – and therefore the interaction with pedestrians and cyclists – in a bid to cut fatal crashes. Mr Stonard said the Transport for Norwich Scheme, which includes cars being banned from St Stephens Street and part of Surrey Street as well as buses travelling both ways in and out of the city via Chapel Field North and a new bus lane in Grapes Hill, was all part of the solution.

The majority of fatal crashes in Norwich have happened in the north of the city with Aylsham Road, Bignold Road, Mile Cross Lane, Woodcock Road, Drayton Road Boundary Road and Catton Grove Road among the locations.

In keeping with Norwich, Yarmouth and King’s Lynn are both densely populated centres where people, traffic, cyclists and pedestrians all share the roads which means that there is more chance of fatalities occurring.

But while the statistics might show there are areas of the county where fatal crashes seem to occur more regularly than others, Iain Temperton, team manager of casualty reduction at Norfolk County Council, said there was no longer stretches of Norfolk roads with crash-cluster sites.

He added: “My engineering colleagues will look at every fatal and serious injury that happens and on the highway and pinpoint it exactly to a particular stretch of road and see if there have been any other incidents in the last six years.

“What they’ve been telling me is we don’t have any cluster sites to treat any more.

“We don’t have these places. If there was a very short stretch of road where people are being killed or injured then clearly we would do something about it.

“There are stretches of road which may have crashes on them but not one site, so we’ve moved away from engineering the solution and now look at the road user rather than the road layout.”

Mr Temperton said the council in partnership with other agencies through casualty reduction schemes like Think!Norfolk, offered a “cradle to grave” service offering road users advice how to stay safe.

Log onto www.think.norfolk.gov.uk to find out more.

24 comments

  • As mentioned before, its the roads that are dangerous, its the drivers that cause the accidents, impatience and speed and not being able to judge distances is nornally the cause, there are certain categories of drivers that are most at fault, sales reps trying to keep to appointment times, delivery drivers as they are given too many drops to do in a day, taxi drivers because they want to get rid of the fare they have in the back seat so they can get another fare, you only have to be in Norwich at a weekend to see taxi's racing around jumping red lights, tailgating, speeding and jumping lanes. and also boy racers showing off to their friends.

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Also there are more bad drivers now to when i first passed. How on earth people say the acle straight is a bad road bewilders me. Just don't overtake...simples.

    Report this comment

    canaryboy71

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • From reading this article, technically no. The question is how many road accidents have happened? That might be a more interesting statistic.

    Report this comment

    fiat100

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • I agree with canaryboy71, the acle straight is fine until people start over taking ! Make it criminal offence to do so on that road and that will help

    Report this comment

    Cherryiceuk

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • After 47 years of driving here and abroad including the soviet union..I haven't come cross a dangerous road. Lots of dangerous driving, People don't take account of the conditions and drive to them. sadly this apply ies to pedestrians as well. As for the Acle straight should have a double line white line all the way down and heavy fines for people who overtake. it is a 60 MPH limit.

    Report this comment

    musicman

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Cars are faster and safer,but the drivers and the roads have not improved. It always amazes me that there is always money for grandiose traffic schemes,but very little for basic road maintenance. Massive investment in upgrading roads is the answer but it will not happen,and drivers will continue to suffer suspension damage caused by potholes and the council's obsession with road humps! As for the number of accidents,contrary to the convenient and profitable obsession of the authorities with speed as the villain of the peace,it is mostly human error that is to blame!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • The roads are very much busier now than a few years ago because of the huge increase in population, therefore there are bound to be more accidents

    Report this comment

    blister

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Has anyone actually seen the condition of the Acle Straight road surface recently..? For 6 months there have been warning signs declaring 'Dangerous Surface' which have all blown down in the winds so therefore drivers are now taking this road at normal speed. The potholes and cracks will soon be the cause of another fatal accident, not the way some people drive along this road. Why are we paying road fund tax when the Highways agency can't or wont do anything about this vital link to Great Yarmouth..???

    Report this comment

    TT

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Regarding the Acle straight...I was nearly blown off it because of high winds a year back. Not really anything I could have done

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • The roads are not dangerous, it's the inconsiderate road users that are the problem. Yes there are pot holes and the money would be well spent repairing these roads but no amount of funding in the world will stop these fatal accidents unless you remove all the inconsiderate, selfish drivers (of all ages) off the road.

    Report this comment

    melalmighty

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Yes totally agree it's the drivers and alike that causes accidents not the roads, although some are in a bad state. But if you are a very careful driver you don't need a sign to explain the roads are in poor condition, as a driver you should be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.

    Report this comment

    SallyK

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Pedestrians are no longer taught how to cross roads at school and anyone who drives past a school with teenagers leaving at 15.00hrs will tell you that they think they have the right of way. they just wander out without looking and almost play chicken with motorists. Acle straight is perfectly safe at the speed limit, trouble is people either want to go at 70, or even worse, they want to do 38 nurdling mph which encourages bad overtaking.

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • In answer to your headline question: NO. The roads are not dangerous, the users are.

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • The road network and speed limits have never been updated from the time of the Austin 7, narrow tyres, cable brakes. Today we have ABS brakes, radial tyres, yet the 30mph limit still applies in ridiculous areas . In Norfolk we have so called quiet lanes yet the narrow side roads are signposted with national speed limit signs. The lunacy of road accidents is caused by ignorant drivers but the potholes encountered have caused me to give up motor cycling . The speed courses offered to errant drivers are a form of blackmail at £85 a throw funding goes to the police but to plead not guilty to any court is a waste of time because you will still be fined £100 plus three penalty points and most insurers will then increase your premium by £40 per point. Fines for no insurance are derisory. The entire motoring aspect of this country is one joke. You only have to watch Top Gear to recognise that they never comment on safety but always how fast a car will accelerate with wheel spin etc, this type of TV does nothing to help reduce accidents. As for drivers well we all have different capabilities, ages and lifestyle, even prescribed drugs have a lot to do with driving standards, eyesight failure, yet it is only too easy to blame the state of the road. None of us are perfect drivers and in many cases complete our journey only in a safe manner due to the braking and allowances granted by other drivers, but then we never see their brake lights whereby we all believe our judgement is worthy of F1 standards.

    Report this comment

    Claire Voyant

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • The roads are not more dangerous, it just who and how we use them. Norfolk have more and more older people who are not adapting to the changing road systems, we also have a fall in driving standards with a lack of awareness by drivers of what is happening around them. Cars are so comfortable drivers are cocooned in the car and have little idea of what their actions will have to other road users. You read a lot about speed being the factor and we should all slow down, but it's not speed, it's a poor attitude to driving and stupidity which causes accidents. Speed does not kill, I know we've had that idea pushed onto us for years but it's simply not true.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • @ V "I would like to know where the fatality was in Bradwell ?." Wasn't this on the estate where the driver died at the wheel from natural causes. Very similar to a recent one in Yarmouth. Statistics need be taken with a bucket of salt. Until you analyse each and every fatality you can`t get a true picture of what is happening to make an informed comment on the author`s question as to whether Norfolk's or getting less or more dangerous. If people are dying at the wheel are counted as a fatal RTC it does skew the figures somewhat. I think Peter Walsh needs to go back to Norfolk Police on clarification of some of these fatal RTCs.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Except that... there are fewer accidents. And Norfolk is not exactly densely populated.

    Report this comment

    Capac Raimi

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • The roads are what they are... if the majority of road users can navigate around without crashing then it's obviously down to driver error. You need to drive within your ability and be considerate of your surroundings, be they rough surfaces, heavy rain or high winds.

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • So if 'The majority of fatal crashes in Norwich have happened in the north of the city with Aylsham Road, Bignold Road, Mile Cross Lane, Woodcock Road, Drayton Road Boundary Road and Catton Grove Road among the locations', why then is closing the city to all but buses and pedestrians part of the solution?

    Report this comment

    RogerP

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Answer to your headline question: NO. Incompetent, impatient, selfish drivers are dangerous. Let's remember that the roads do NOT cause accidents.

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • I think cars have become to comfortable and drivers are less aware of their surroundings, those who drive at 30 or 40mph on a main road where the speed limit is 60mph should be forced to retake a test. They become a rolling roadblock and cause problems for the flowing traffic and appear unaware of what they are doing, every driver has a responsibility, not just to themselves but to other road users around them. Remember, contrary to belief “speed does not kill” keep the traffic flowing and don’t be a roadblock. The councils answer it to put these lumps in the roads to slow people down but they need to be careful about the size of these things, the road traffic act states they should not be higher than 100mm (4 inches in old money) and I’m sure many of them are more than that and damage to cars is being caused. They are appearing everywhere now in an attempt to slow us all down, which is part of their plan. maybe we should be known as hump city. Pedestrians need to be more aware also, walking along a country road might be nice but how many have music playing in their ears. I remember a story of a train driver who saw something on the track in the distance and slowed the train down and stopped 10ft from the obstruction, it turned out to be a photographer laying on the track with camera in hand. He didn’t hear the train approaching as he had earphones on with music on loud.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • The roads are not more dangerous, it just who and how we use them. Norfolk have more and more older people who are not adapting to the changing road systems, we also have a fall in driving standards with a lack of awareness by drivers of what is happening around them. Cars are so comfortable drivers are cocooned in the car and have little idea of what their actions will have to other road users. You read a lot about speed being the factor and we should all slow down, but it's not speed, it's a poor attitude to driving and stupidity which causes accidents. Speed does not kill, I know we've had that idea pushed onto us for years but it's simply not true.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • If, and I quote, 'The majority of fatal crashes in Norwich have happened in the north of the city with Aylsham Road, Bignold Road, Mile Cross Lane, Woodcock Road, Drayton Road Boundary Road and Catton Grove Road among the locations', why is restricting traffic in Chapelfield to one lane, allowing buses to travel against that one lane flow to same them a couple of minutes on their travel time, etc. part of the solution?

    Report this comment

    RogerP

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • I would like to know where the fatality was in Bradwell ?.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, March 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Homes24
Jobs24
Drive24
MyDate24
MyPhotos24
FamilyNotices24
Weddingsite

loading...

Classifieds, browse or search them online now

The Canary magazine
Order your copy of The Canary magazine

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT