Waiting game for A11 junction improvements
Stephanie BrooksA project set to cost almost �1m to improve safety at an accident blackspot is on the backburner until funding for the scheme is secured.Plans to close the central reservation gaps on the A11 at the junction with Station Lane, which runs between Hethersett and Ketteringham, were put forward by the Highways Agency at the end of last year.Stephanie Brooks
A PROJECT set to cost almost �1m to improve safety at an accident blackspot is on the backburner until funding for the scheme is secured.
Plans to close the central reservation gaps on the A11 at the junction with Station Lane, which runs between Hethersett and Ketteringham, were put forward by the Highways Agency at the end of last year.
The gaps currently allow vehicles to cut across four lanes of fast-moving traffic.
According to figures from the Highways Agency there are about four serious collisions at the spot each year - with more than three quarters of the crashes caused by people attempting to cross the trunk toad.
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A consultation on the plans, which also include improved slipways onto the A11, began in November.
The Highways Agency said it now hopes to begin the scheme, estimated to cost �950,000, this autumn but this is subject to the availability of funding.
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A spokesman said the funding decision will be depend on the Comprehensive Spending Review and the Highways Agency can not pre-empt what may come of that.
He said: 'Following consultation, the Highways Agency is looking to start works on closing the central reservation gaps on the A11 at Station Lane, near Ketteringham, in the autumn, subject to the availability of funding.
'The work would involve the closure of the two gaps and improving the left hand turns onto the A11 both eastbound and westbound.'
Despite the need to improve the junction's poor safety record, district councillor Nigel Legg, who represents Ketteringham, said the scheme had received mixed feelings locally.
'One of the proposals is that the central reservation will be closed and that obviously means for a lot of local businesses it's going to make for longer diversions and that applies to any of the local residents. Not everyone is entirely happy about that,' he said.
'People are concerned if they close off the central reservation more traffic could be passing through villages particularly heavy goods vehicles which are a considerable annoyance already.'
But he added: 'Time has moved on. There's a lot more traffic and people have to accept that these days it has to be safe.'