Received this from a concerned resident who has written to Highways England regarding the Draft Proposal that we have been discussing. This is published with his permission. If anyone feels strongly enough to write to Highways England with their views on this matter please do!!!!
I am a resident of Honingham ( Richmond Close). Both myself and my wife commute to work on weekdays into Norwich (Car and Cycle), and I am a keen runner / walker / cyclist.
Your preferred route proposals seemed to be balancing what I fully recognise is a difficult task with a range of significant conflicting priorities in moving the new A47 further North from the village but whilst minimising the impact on the environment. In particular you stated that the existing A47 would be retained for local access and as a cycle route.
I hence studied your recent proposals on the new A47 dual carriageway with much interest given the extent of additional detail and what appears to be significant change from your preferred route original objectives. I know that I am not alone in Honingham in feeling confused and disappointed by these proposals. In particular:
1. Your new proposals introduce significant additional link roads whilst largely leaving the existing A47 route severed in multiple locations. Why are you building additional roads when you already have the existing road that could be better utilised ? Surely at least some of the existing road could be better utilised ? Your proposals appear to take no account of the additional traffic that would then flow onto low quality / narrow local roads e.g. what about the single track Taverham Road and the narrow bridges on Taverham Road and Berrys Road ? Your proposals also need to address more simply the flow of traffic from Mattishall onto the new dualled A47 – this is significant in the morning / evening rush hour – the queues on your new link road junctions will be significant with the junctions not in line with the main traffic flow.
2. Why is the new dualled A47 cutting in front of St Andrews church, cutting access from the village when with some re-alignment it could pass to the East of the Church. I think this is important if you are going to sever the existing A47 at that point. Looking at this a fly-over of the new dualled road to the east of the church would be viable given the downward gradient of the existing A47 at this point.
3. The new dualled A47 still passes very close to the Northern side of Honingham. I don’t see why the new road can’t be moved further North. I am also keen to see exactly what further noise and pollution reducing measures you are going to introduce. Clearly protecting and extending the existing tree / shrub zone North of the existing A47 road is vital. I am wanting to understand your proposals on this and would hope early priority can be made to progress extending this.
4. I really don’t understand why you are introducing two new roundabouts either side of Honingham whilst eliminating the existing Easton roundabout. Further I understand these are not fly-overs but standard roundabouts. This will make local access onto the new dual carriageway more difficult and slow the flow of traffic on the new dual carriageway. In terms of noise / pollution this would also appear to be less than optimal given breaking / acceleration for two roundabouts relatively close together. To ensure that NDR / A1067 access remains just that at Wood Lane I would have thought that the new roundabout here for the dualled A47 should be restricted to just that i.e. Wood Lane.
I hope you will address these points as the detailed plans progress. Your proposals need to take more account of the interests and issues of Honingham if they are to command broader support. This is a very special place and currently your proposals seem to introduce unnecessary new issues without sufficient thought being given to alternatives and mitigation.