The following is the Honingham Parish Council response to Improving the A47 North Tuddenham to Easton dualling
The village of Honingham is a small rural village which has a northern border to the present A47, we as parish councillors and parishioners are well aware of the problems caused by the single carriageways of the A47 at peak traffic times – we are often used as a rat run – and also at times of accidents on the A47 causing traffic to be redirected via our village (the previous A47 ran through the village prior to the by-pass). Also, part of our village is Wood Lane, which HGV’s are now forced to use since the Hockering deal that closed the route through Hockering for HGV traffic. We have mentioned on many many occasions to both Highways and BDC the problems of Wood Lane and the dangerous access to the A47 direction Kings Lyn at peak traffic times.
Do we think that improvements to the present A47 are needed? Yes, at peak traffic times, in order to keep traffic flowing; since the roundabout was introduced (Mattishall Road/A47) the air quality must be badly affected with the number of vehicles backed up from the roundabout waiting to proceed towards Norwich. However, this could be alleviated by other means – for example a separate lane to the roundabout so that traffic on the A47 continues to move. We would also suggest (yet again) that there should be no right turn onto the A47 at the junction with Wood Lane, all traffic could then move towards the roundabout and back to the Kings Lyn direction. Although there appears to be a lack of joined up thinking with regard to the improvements to the A47 and the proposed (nearly finished) NDR the Wood Lane/A47 junction will have even more difficulties and needs to be urgently looked at to account for and improve the considerable traffic flow that will occur.
The following are our views on the 4 proposed options put forward for the proposed dualling of the A47 from Tuddenham to Easton:
Option 1. It is straight and direct, it does not go through as much woodland as other options, and it still gives access to the Church of St Andrew. It leaves the village of Honingham mostly intact. Issues with Wood Lane, this will possibly affect both housing and the farm at Wood Lane? However plans are insufficient in detail to show where in Wood Lane would be affected. This would also affect other outlying parts of Honingham.
Option 2. We don’t know what side of the A47 it would encroach upon (again insufficient detail to give a proper opinion) would it create another rat run through Honingham village? It would cause too much upheaval during construction and we have no idea if it would take land/gardens from Honingham. It would cut off access to our church for pedestrians and a bridge with steps would not solve the issue for the elderly majority of residents.
Option3 The majority of parish councillors voted for this option because it takes the route furthest from the village and would not require homes to be demolished or gardens removed. However, as with option 1 there is no guarantee that Wood Lane would not be spared, nor other outlying parts of the village. Perhaps least damaging to woodland and the environment. However, a parishioner at a recent PC meeting pointed out that such a route could cause other development along the route and thus damage the beautiful Tud/Wensum valley for ever.
Option 4 All parish councillors, and the parishioners that attended our recent council meeting, feel that this option does the most harm to the village of Honingham; adversely affecting both homes and businesses. With the road running higher than the village we feel, despite platitudes to the opposite, that noise levels would be huge and drainage/ run off would likely cause further flooding in the village, it would also take valuable land from the village. We are poorly served for public transport in the village, a bus runs into Norwich/Mattishall once an hour up to 5pm Mon to Fri, less at weekends; (Konect Bus service 4) this route would wipe out our only bus service. Our elderly population, and those unable to drive through illness, use this bus service to get to the nearest doctors surgery at Mattishall – if this route was taken then how would our villagers get to the doctors surgery?
The PC was disappointed with lack of clarity of these proposals, even at the exhibition no one could say where the actual proposed routes would go, how can you make such a very important decision when there is insufficient information? Proposals 1 and 3 spare the majority of the village, although not Wood Land nor the outlying northern parts of the village. Option 4 would truncate the village and destroy homes gardens and businesses. All four options could raise the water table of the River Tud and cause flooding in the heart of the village. Honingham population is becoming increasingly elderly and therefore needs a good public transport service; our doctors surgery is at Mattishall and to get there without a car requires walking up Colton Road to the bus stop on the Mattishall Road. If proposal 4 is adopted villagers without their own transport would not be able to get to the doctors. If options 1 or 3 are chosen would we be able to get the X1 bus to stop in the village?