Hopes levelling up fund could bring 'critical' £1.7m roundabout

It is hoped a roundabout could be built at the busy Holway Road junction. Inset, county councillor Judy Oliver. 

It is hoped a roundabout could be built at the busy Holway Road junction near Sheringham. Inset, county councillor Judy Oliver. - Credit: Google / North Norfolk Conservatives

Hope are high that a 'levelling up' fund could finally get the ball rolling on a long wished-for roundabout at a key north Norfolk junction. 

Judy Oliver, county councillor for Sheringham and Beeston Regis, said the government's £4.7 billion infrastructure fund could provide the key to having a roundabout installed at the intersection of Holway Road and the A148 - the main turn-off into the town. 

Ms Oliver said the project was estimated to cost around £1.7 million, which would be money well spent. 

She said: "It is absolutely critical. It is the one project I'm determined to deliver and I'm working on it constantly."

Ms Oliver said the junction could be a dangerous spot, especially for those turning right, and the volume of vehicles using it pushed some motorists onto alterative routes such as Britons Lane which were not designed for heavy traffic. 

"What tends to happen is that the traffic gets displaced," she said. 

Ms Oliver said accident figures did not reflect how unsafe the junction actually was. 

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"I think there are a lot of near-misses," she said. 

Judy Oliver

Judy Oliver, Norfolk county councillor for Sheringham and Beeston Regis division. - Credit: Supplied by the Conservatives

It had been hoped the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) could have helped to fund the scheme, as they did with another long-awaited roundabout in nearby Felbrigg, which was opened in 2017.

But Ms Oliver said that was now looking unlikely in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, so she was working with the county council and North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker on other funding possibilities. 

She said: "[The LEP] are very sympathetic and supportive, but post-pandemic, some of the funding lines have changed."

Mr Baker has said of the junction: "Many drivers in and around Sheringham are so nervous about using the A148/Holway Road junction that they avoid it altogether – increasing the flow of traffic on our more minor roads.

The busy junction of Holway Road and the A148, just outside Sheringham. 

The busy junction of Holway Road and the A148, just outside Sheringham. - Credit: Google StreetView

"[A roundabout] will be of enormous benefit to everyone who lives and works in Sheringham."

The first round of grants from the Levelling Up Find - totalling  £1.7 billion - were announced in October. 

However almost two thirds of that money was earmarked for the most deprived 25pc of areas of the UK. 

Just £92 was allocated per person in the east of England, compared with a national average of £184.