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Fully dualling the A47 would reduce crashes, say road safety officers

PUBLISHED: 06:30 22 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:12 22 March 2018

A car upside down in a dyke after crashing off the A47 Acle Straight. 

Picture: James Bass

A car upside down in a dyke after crashing off the A47 Acle Straight. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2016

Dualling the A47 could help to cut the number of crashes on a road which saw 180 serious and fatal crashes over the space of five years.

Campaigners calling for the A47 to be dualled say it would improve safety. Picture: Ian BurtCampaigners calling for the A47 to be dualled say it would improve safety. Picture: Ian Burt

This week saw the launch of the ‘Just Dual It!’ campaign, spearheaded by the Eastern Daily Press, Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

The aim of the campaign is to put pressure on the government to commit to further improvements to a key road for Norfolk, which stretches from Peterborough to Lowestoft, on top of the £300m which has been earmarked.

And one of the key messages which the campaign aims to hammer home to the government is that dualling the road has the potential to reduce the number of crashes.

Between 2011 and 2015, there were 180 serious and fatal crashes on the road. This year, there have been three deaths.

Graphic: Norfolk County Council.Graphic: Norfolk County Council.

In January a man in his 50s died at Tilney All Saints after his van was in a crash with a lorry.

The same month saw James Cox, 46 and Riki Boughen, 43, from Wisbech die after their Ford Transit van crashed with a coach around a mile east of the Hardwick roundabout at King’s Lynn.

And, in February, a man died after a crash between two lorries at Scarning.

Highways England, which is responsible for the A47, has a target to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on its network by 40pc by 2020.

Iain Temperton, road safety officer at Norfolk County Council. Picture: Denise BradleyIain Temperton, road safety officer at Norfolk County Council. Picture: Denise Bradley

And Norfolk County Council says that, if the road were to be dualled - which would mean junctions would have to be turned into slip roads - it would make it safer.

Iain Temperton, who manages Norfolk County Council’s road safety team, said: “We have a hierarchy of highway safety with motorways the safest, followed by dual carriageways and then single carriageway A-roads.

“Road crashes are fundamentally caused by human error and one of the significant causes of a crash are people misjudging speed and direction.
“Dual carriageways have people flowing in the same direction and at similar speeds, so you take away some of those factors.

“And, if you take the southern bypass, that’s built to motorway standards. Roads do not cross it, the junction are slip roads and it becomes a more forgiving road.”

How you can get involved

Buy a copy of the Eastern Daily Press tomorrow. Inside will be a Just Dual It! Freepost postcard for you to send your own message to the government about why you think the A47 needs to be fully-dualled as soon as possible.

Pick up a Just Dual It! postcard from Friday from: our offices in Rouen Road; County Hall in Martineau Lane; Norfolk Chamber of Commerce in Whiting Road, Norwich; Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s Town Hall or West Norfolk Council’s offices in King’s Lynn. Those postcards would not be Freepost and would need a stamp.

Tweet your support for the campaign using the hashtag #justdualit. If you include your full name and location in the tweet, we will transfer your message onto a postcard for you.

Write, outlining your experiences of using the A47 to EDP Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPletters@archant.co.uk

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