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Road users hit back at claims speeding is the cause of Broadland Northway crashes

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:00 04 July 2018

A commuter on the NDR spotted a car which had driven onto the North Walsham Road roundabout. Picture: Laura Bush

A commuter on the NDR spotted a car which had driven onto the North Walsham Road roundabout. Picture: Laura Bush

Laura Bush

Drivers have hit back at a council report's claims that drivers going too fast, rather than the design of the roundabouts, are the key reason for a number of crashes on the Broadland Northway.

The £205m road, previously known as the Northern Distributor Road, was fully opened 11 weeks ago. The county council said it has had lots of positive feedback but acknowledges the number of crashes at some roundabouts needs to be tackled.

According to Norfolk police, there have been seven crashes since November in which somebody was injured.

Police are to step up monitoring on the road and a camera will be installed to track how people are driving at the Wroxham Road roundabout - one of the crash hotspots.

Martin Wilby, chairman of the council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “Sadly, feedback does suggest that some drivers are not adhering to the speed limit, so I hope that by working with the police we can help to encourage people to drive more safely.”

But driving instructor Martin Wright, of Thorpe St Andrew-based WrightLearn, said more could be done to improve the roundabouts and that both the council and drivers should take some responsibility. He said: “Certainly at the approach to the roundabouts they could put some more signage in, more warnings. I would like to see some more reduce speed now signs and even slower speed limits as you are coming up to the roundabouts.”

Tony Clarke, from Norwich Cycling Campaign, said one problem was the roundabouts mainly had 90 degree approaches.

“There is something intrinsically wrong in the designs and no amount of waffle by politicians is going to change that,” he said.

“The record on the road is unbelievable compared with the hundreds of other roundabouts in Norfolk.”

According to the council review, the airport north roundabout and Wroxham Road roundabout have seen a higher number of crashes than would usually be expected for a road designed to national standards and which passed a safety audit carried out by independent experts. The council said issues appeared to be speed related at the airport roundabout, where drivers run into the central island, and when people change lanes at the Wroxham Road roundabout.

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