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Plea for action over accident blackspot

PUBLISHED: 15:43 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:56 13 July 2010

A businesswoman and mum living on a dangerous road in North Walsham has urged the authorities and local people to recognise problems with the road itself and not simply blame boy racers for driving too fast.

A businesswoman and mum living on a dangerous road in North Walsham has urged the authorities and local people to recognise problems with the road itself and not simply blame boy racers for driving too fast.

Claire Rushen's view is supported by North Walsham county councillor Paul Morse, who has pledged to open discussions with highways experts in a bid to identify the exact problem with the section of North Street.

Mrs Rushen and husband Mark own and run the Cockerel Tearoom and Restaurant and have seen numerous accidents on the road outside their home and business, the latest of which caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to an outdoor building and stock, as well as seeing the young driver have a lucky escape.

“Something needs to happen to that road before someone dies,” said Mrs Rushen.

“There is at least one major accident on it every year and that doesn't include the little bumps, scrapes, prangs and people losing control for a few seconds.

“I think most people just put it down to the young drivers who use this bit of road on one of their circuits through town. But it's not just down to that. They do drive too fast some of the time, but there is also something wrong with the way the corner is set up.

“I have seen plenty of older drivers who aren't driving particularly fast have trouble on that bend.”

The latest accident saw a young driver smash his car into a brick-built outbuilding used as a store room for the business.

The building itself was badly damaged, freezers were written off and alcohol and food had to be thrown out after the smash.

“I just wonder what needs to happen out there for anything to change,” said Mrs Rushen. “Perhaps if I took my husband and myself, our one-year-old and three-year-old, some of our staff and some customers outside, we could line them up and ask the authorities which one needs to be seriously hurt before they do anything.”

Mr Morse agreed the problem should not be dismissed as one of speeding young drivers alone. “The way the road is configured doesn't look right,” he said.

Mr Morse said he had organised a meeting with the area highways engineer in early May in order to gather a professional opinion.

The Rushens have organised a petition, which is available to sign at the Cockerel and online at www.gopetition.com/online/18889.html.

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