An accident-prone crossroads and roundabout on the A140 at Hempnall is to be replaced – after Norfolk County Council won £3.05 million of government funding.
The Department for Transport made the announcement yesterday to award the money to the County Council from its National Productivity Investment Fund.
This is a junction that is clearly in great need of improvement and I’m really pleased we’ve managed to convince central government of this. I’m proud and grateful to all those who have helped to secure this fundingMartin Wilby
Martin Wilby, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve won this money for Norfolk. Better road and transport links are vital to the county, leading to a better quality of life for people living and working here, improving road safety and attracting new investment and more jobs.
“This is a junction that is clearly in great need of improvement and I’m really pleased we’ve managed to convince central government of this. I’m proud and grateful to all those who have helped to secure this funding.”
The county council says people who use the current junction often experience queuing and long delays, particularly on the B1527 to Hempnall. It is expected that the new roundabout will lead to shorter journey times and less congestion.
Eight accidents have occured at the existing junction in the last five years, resulting in 11 casualties – two categorised as serious.
These incidents were linked to traffic turning onto the A140 from the minor roads and the replacement roundabout is intended to solve this issue and improve the safety of the junction.
The improved roundabout is also expected to support regional transport connections, particularly between Norwich and Ipswich, and provide additional road capacity for proposed development nearby at Long Stratton which is set to include up to 1,800 new homes.
Alison Thomas, who has represented Hempnall as part of Long Stratton division on Norfolk County Council for the last 10 years, said: “I’ve lived in the area for 22 years and have been campaigning for these improvements all that time.
“Whether or not additional housing is built, we need a roundabout at Hempnall, because there is a dangerous, risky junction. This work will improve safety along the A140, its feeder roads and the entire Norwich to Ipswich corridor.”
The total cost of constructing the roundabout is estimated to be £4.36 million, with the remainder of the money for the project set to come principally from developer funding.
Work to construct the roundabout, subject to planning permission, is planned to begin in Autumn 2019. Opening is expected for Summer 2020.