Calls for second exit from estate after gas leak blocks road

Costessey Town Council member Gary Blundell. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Costessey Town Council member Gary Blundell. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Renewed calls are being made for a second exit from a large housing estate after a gas leak caused gridlock.

The leak happened around 1.30pm on Thursday on Alex Moorhouse Way, Costessey, near the Longwater Retail Park, after a workman hit a gas main on the ambulance station.

It is not known if anyone was injured and the ambulance service has been contacted.

At around 4pm Norfolk Police were directing traffic one lane at a time into and out of the estate but the cordon remained in place around the ambulance station, according to Costessey Town Council member Gary Blundell.

He said the road was "complete gridlock" for over an hour, preventing parents from picking up children from Queen's Hill Primary School and Nursery as well as stopping ambulances leaving. 

Mr Blundell said Thursday's traffic problems highlighted the need for a second exit and he believed the redundant bus lane on the other end of the estate should be able to be used in emergency situations and not blocked with concrete.

He said: "It is ridiculous. If the bus lane was there without concrete blocks we could let people out.

"If an accident had happened on the estate an ambulance could not have got through. This does need sorting out and it is up to the developers to pull their finger out and decide to open the bus lane.

"The incident highlights that if there is a road accident or emergency anywhere around Longwater we are trapped."

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He said a safety protocol should be in place where residents could lower bollards on the bus lane to get vehicles through.

Penny Sheppard, headteacher of Queen's Hills Primary School and Nursery. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Penny Sheppard, headteacher of Queen's Hills Primary School and Nursery. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE - Credit: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Penny Sheppard, Queen's Hill Primary School and Nursery headteacher, said the school alerted parents about the closure but children were able to be picked up around 4pm.

She said: "A second exit out of the estate would be sensible. The road closure did have an impact on pick-up time."

A mother-of-three, who lives on the estate, said the cordoned off area prevented her from going to Sainsbury's to buy formula milk her baby after running out of the food.

She backed a second exit and said the blockage prevented parents from picking up their children from nearby high schools as well as the primary school.

For traffic updates visit the EDP live traffic map


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