Week of traffic hell

Diss, Norfolk. Roadworks on Victoria road underneath the railway bridge causes delays in Diss ANL-140716-171418001
Diss, Norfolk. Roadworks on Victoria road underneath the railway bridge causes delays in Diss ANL-140716-171418001

The fragility of parts of Diss’ road network was exposed this week after roadworks brought the main route through town to a slow crawl.

A collapsed sewer near Vinces Road on the A1066 Victoria Road last Thursday saw Anglia Water put up temporary traffic lights while the work was taking place.

A spokesperson for Anglia Water said the sewer had been repaired and part of the road resurfaced, with the closed lane reopening on Wednesday afternoon.

Traffic and queues have been an issue on the road, with minor improvements mooted.

A ‘Jam Cam’, a live online camera which would look over Vinces Road, is set to be installed at a cost of £6,000 in a bid to give motorists the chance to check for queues and busy traffic, and plan their journeys accordingly.

Simon Evetts, operations manager at Midwich, a technology solutions company in Vinces Road, said he has been in contact with Diss Town Council and South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon about the traffic issues – but said a ‘Jam Cam’ was not the answer.

He said sometimes it could take five minutes to leave Midwich and get onto Victoria Road, but can take as long as 30 to 45 minutes. With the temporary traffic lights, some staff have been held up for an hour.

“They had not set up the traffic lights correctly,” he said. “It should have been a three-way traffic light system.

“We have lost the best solution. We worked with the Diss Town Council to try and get Persimmon Homes to have an exit road at the top of the housing estate they built in the last couple of years. We campaigned for a long time but we did not get anywhere with that.”

He suggested potential solutions could include using land from the front of the Factory Shop to create a filter lane, or to reposition the mini-roundabout deeper into Vinces Road, so drivers along Victoria Road would not treat it “as a straight piece of road.”

He added that some Midwich employees had parked on different roads during the chaos, to the complaints of some residents, adding that staff are always encouraged to use its car park and must follow the rules of the road when they do not.

Drivers took to the Diss Express Facebook page to air their frustrations. Liz Cater described the congestion as ‘manic’.

“As a carer it was a total nightmare trying to get from one end of the town to the other to get to my clients on time,” she said.

Doreen Davey added: “Diss is bad most of the time, especially leaving off time, and road works just make a bad road worse. People use Palgrave as rat run to avoid Diss and constantly speed through Palgrave.”