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Finding a way through traffic woes...

PUBLISHED: 14:34 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 09:09 13 July 2010

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I'M not alone in feeling flummoxed by the so-called improvements to Grammar School Road in North Walsham.

Last week I questioned the point of spending £115,000 on highly-disruptive roadworks which have left us with no right-turning filter towards the doctors' surgeries, causing tailbacks which have reached well along New Road.

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I'M not alone in feeling flummoxed by the so-called improvements to Grammar School Road in North Walsham.

Last week I questioned the point of spending £115,000 on highly-disruptive roadworks which have left us with no right-turning filter towards the doctors' surgeries, causing tailbacks which have reached well along New Road.

Reader Trevor Cutting emailed to say he completely agreed, adding: "What a total waste of our money. All I can see that has been achieved is longer traffic hold ups and road rage.

"This seems to be a replica of Cromer High Street: make the road one lane, cause more havoc and make people avoid the area."

Mrs B A Collins, of Litester Close, also wrote to me, saying: “Improvements alas no !! Total chaos and lots of N.Walsham residents like myself totally agree with your comments. Whoever had the bright idea to create this mess to improve the flow of traffic at the huge waste of public funds for this" white elephant "should be sacked !!

The motto comes to mind " if it ain,t broke don,t fix it.”

But I have to thank Lime Tree Road resident Angela Minns for a very enlightening email which followed a meeting she had with Miles Howard, from Norfolk County Council, who designed the new traffic scheme.

Mrs Minns wrote: "Apparently, the new road lay-out in Grammar School Road is Phase 2 of a three-part scheme for that area of town.

Phase 1 is the new pedestrian crossing by Paston College, Phase 2 is the new roundabout and Phase 3 involves altering the timing of the traffic lights on the by-pass/Norwich Road to improve the flow of traffic.

"He couldn't say when this will happen but admits that it will cause considerable disruption, as will the erection of new flats on the old Holburn Tyres garage site. It's amazing what you can find out when you ask.

"I told him that no-one could see the sense of removing the right-hand filter as it causes a huge build up of traffic but apparently, they were duty bound to do something about the junction as three pedestrians had been injured in the space of five years and had become a police statistic."

Mr. Howard assured Mrs Minns that the new road lay-out would be monitored to see if it worked. She added: "I have yet to tell him that, last week, a couple of motorists got so fed-up with waiting in the queue that they went the wrong side of the new traffic island in order to head off down towards the doctors' surgeries!"

Mrs Minns is among campaigners fighting for traffic-flow alterations to ease the burden on fellow Lime Tree residents whose road has been used as a rat run since Church Street became one-way a few years ago.

They suffered badly when Grammar School Road was shut for six weeks during the roadworks and five times the number of usual motorists headed their way instead - hence her meeting with Mr Howard.

Residents believe their situation isn't helped by customers' vehicles both entering and exiting onto the nearby Bacton Road side of Sainsbury's.

Mr Cutting, on the other hand, lives the other side of the store, on Mundesley Road, and is vehemently opposed to Sainsbury's proposed new exit there.

He says: "All our houses on this road suffer from the constant thundering of lorries and to put more traffic down this road is sheer madness."

North Norfolk District Council's planners are between a rock and a hard place on this one. If they turn down the application there will be outrage from the Bacton Road side. And if they approve it; fury in Mundesley Road.

Any suggestions on a third way - preferably one which doesn't cause unsuspecting residents somewhere else in town to rise in rebellion?


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