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4th July, 2006

£1.6 Million package of safety measures to improve the a47 Acle straight in Norfolk

Tuesday 09:49
1.6 Million package of safety measures to improve the a47 Acle straight in Norfolk

A package of safety improvements for the A47 Acle Straight in Norfolk is being set out by the Highways Agency following a detailed study of the route.

Improvements will be developed and implemented over the next two to three years along the Acle Straight, at an estimated cost of £1.6m, while longer-term solutions will be kept under consideration.

The improvements include resurfacing the A47, and changes to improve visibility for drivers such as new road studs, improved road markings, junction marking bollards, vegetation trimming, new static road signs, new vehicle activated signs and safety cameras. The effectiveness of these schemes will be monitored before deciding to trial any further measures such as intelligent road studs.

A number of fatalities on this road have resulted from cars leaving the carriageway and crashing into the adjacent dykes. In the long term there may be a case for moving the dykes to remove this risk but it is not possible to do so at present as more information is required about the environmental impacts. Moving the dykes would also be necessary should widening the Acle Straight ever become a priority for the East of England at a future date. The Highways Agency will, therefore, carry out a dyke relocation feasibility study this financial year at a cost of £40,000. This will help to inform whether or not to go ahead with a full-scale trial aimed at providing a fuller understanding of the environmental impact of dyke movement. - - Roads Minister, Dr Stephen Ladyman, said:

"The Government is committed to improving the road network and to making our roads as safe as possible and we are investing heavily across the country to deliver that.

"We know that there is concern over the safety of the Acle Straight. These measures will improve the safety of the road at the same time as protecting the environment.

"Without good information we cannot make sensible decisions about further improvements on this road. Our aim is to establish whether dyke relocation can be carried out without an adverse environmental impact. We will then know what is and is not feasible on this stretch of road."

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. It manages, maintains and improves England's motorways and trunk roads on behalf of the Secretary of State.

2. A47 Acle Straight: short to medium-term improvements funding: - £36,000 in 2006/07 for implementing static signs, junction marking bollards, new road studs and vegetation trimming to improve safety and visibility; - £288,000 in 2006/07 for resurfacing. - £240,000 during 2007/08 and 2008/09 for a programme of other safety measures (to be developed this year) but including vehicle activated signs and safety cameras. - Other possible measures (such as intelligent road studs - £0.9million), will be considered following monitoring into the effectiveness of the implemented safety measures.

3. A47 Honingham: In June safety improvements on the A47 at Honingham in Norfolk, west of Norwich, came a step closer when the Highways Agency allocated funding for initial safety work this financial year and for investigation work into larger scale improvements. Full details in the press notice (E63/06) at http://www.highways.gov.uk.

4. The Highways Agency traffic information website is at http://www.highways.gov.uk/trafficinfo

5. For real-time traffic information, the Highways Agency 24-hour voice activated telephone service is on 08700 660 115. (Calls from BT landlines to 0870 numbers will cost no more than 8p per minute; mobile calls usually cost more).

6. For general information about the Highways Agency and its work, visit the Highways Agency website http://www.highways.gov.uk, or telephone the Highways Agency information line on 08457 50 40 30 at any time. (Calls to 0845 numbers cost no more than 3p/min from BT residential landlines. Call charges from other and mobile networks may vary.)

Issued on behalf of the Highways Agency by Government News Network East.

Client ref E73-06

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