A ‘positive’ step has been taken in the long-running saga to solve the problems at the infamous Vinces Road and A1066 junction in Diss — with finding the funds to carry out the improvements now on the agenda.
A feasibility report, prepared by Mouchel Infrastructure Services, with four potential solutions to alleviate the problems at the mini roundabout was presented to Diss Town Council’s highways committee on Wednesday following months of deliberation.
Members of the committee decided option ‘A’ — a two-lane approach from Vinces Road and a larger mini roundabout, which could cut waiting times on the road meeting the A1066 from six to seven minutes to about one minute. There would be no impact on the delay times on the A1066.
It also had the backing of Norfolk County Council’s Highways department.
However, this would require a land purchase from The Factory Shop and nearby Shell petrol station, and could cost an estimated £500,000, while committee members also wanted amendments which would see the bus stop near to the roundabout on the A1066 moved, and consideration for pedestrians also trying to cross.
And it is not only residents who have been frustrated at long delays — businesses based in Vinces Road have told the Diss Express of their road woes in the past.
Simon Evetts, Midwich operations manager, told the council last year that some workers at the company were considering quitting their employment, such was their frustration over delays in getting to and from work.
Town mayor Julian Mason said at the meeting: “One of the very worst things that could happen to Diss is that Midwich pull out of the town, as they are one of the biggest employers, because they are so frustrated about the situation.
“That would be catastrophic to lose that so anything that we could be done to speed the process up would be massively rewarding for Diss.”
The authority is now to consider funding options, after an unsuccessful bid to the Local Enterprise Fund.
A further bid to this fund could be considered, while in previous years the government has offered a Local Pinch Point Fund, which aims to remove bottlenecks on local highways.
Other options put to the council from the report were traffic lights, with variations of one or two lane approaches on both Vince Road and the A1066, or two lane approaches from all three exits of the roundabout, in which road space would be increased.