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Rain makes way for bright bank holiday sunshine for Norfolk tourism

PUBLISHED: 06:00 26 May 2014

Sunny weather had decended on Norfolk - Bircham Windmill in the sun. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Sunny weather had decended on Norfolk - Bircham Windmill in the sun. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Come rain or shine - the motto is proving true in Norfolk this bank holiday weekend as dismal weather makes way for glorious sunshine.

Heavy downpours and standing water wreaked havoc on the roads on Saturday, with police warning drivers to slow down due to reduced visibility.

Greater Anglia train services to and from Cromer were hit with delays and cancellations mid-morning due to flooding at the seaside town.

Motorists had already endured gridlock on Friday as bank holiday traffic built up.

There were collisions across the county - on Saturday, the A17 at Clenchwarton was blocked after an incident; a section of the A140 at Tasburgh closed for an hour after a two vehicle crash; and the East Anglian Air Ambulance was called to treat a man in his 40s following a motorcycle accident on the A11 between Wymondham and Attleborough.

The air ambulance crew joined paramedics to treat the man, who had sustained a leg injury, before he was transported to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The A140 crash happened at 11am close to Foundry plant centre at Tasburgh and involved a Hyundai IX35 and Skoda Fabia, with one of the vehicles ending up in a ditch. One of the drivers sustained minor injuries following the crash in the Norwich-bound land of the single carriageway.

There were reports of long delays on the A11 before Barton Mills and towards Thetford, and those travelling by train faced weekend disruption due to track renewal work at Colchester.

Yesterday, road conditions improved as sunshine returned and both travellers and tourism businesses benefitted.

Benjie Cabbell-Manners, of Amazona Zoo near Cromer, saids: “On Saturday those who braved the weather had a lovely time and yesterday was wonderful, people were keen to be in the sunshine watching the monkeys and tapirs.”

Mark Noble, manager at Pensthorpe park near Fakenham, said: “Despite the weather’s best efforts it didn’t stop the visitors packing their wet weather gear and coming to see us. May is up 21pc overall and the bank holiday weekend was still up despite the mixed weather.”

Visitors enjoying floral walks and a plant sale at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in South Walsham did not let the uncertain weather put them off either, while volunteers from the East Coast Truckers charity - which had HGVs parked on Great Yarmouth seafront over weekend - were pleased to see hundreds of people stopping to find out more while out taking advantage of yesterday’s sunshine.

Hetti Simpson, owner of Norfolk Hideaways - a self-catering holiday company covering the north of the county, added: “It’s been a bumper period for us and we only have a dozen properties with availability from across the whole portfolio of 275 houses.

“The ladies in the booking team have been busy with lots of last minute requests for the weekend.

“The weather has, on the whole, been great this week and I am sure this has impacted on the bookings.”

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