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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.
Below is our response to the Draft proposal; a big thank you to all who contributed their views…..you will note there is a bit of plagiarism!
Response to Draft Proposal of the A47 dualling – Honingham section
Meeting at Honingham Parish Council 11.09.17
Thank you for visiting Honingham Parish Council Meeting on the 11th September 2017, held at the Village Hall and explaining the present draft proposal. This gave both the parish Council and members of Honingham (and nearby parishes) opportunity to discuss and question.
Our main areas of concern are as follows: The proposal will lead to Honingham becoming a rat run to avoid congested new A47 at peak times, and at other times by HGV’s as a quicker route to the Food Hub; The roundabout at Wood Lane Berry’s Lane will be used as a means to take traffic through to Wymondham and therefore the A11; The bridge at Berry’s Lane is not suitable for an increase in traffic and more especially, HGV traffic; The roundabout at Wood Lane/Berry’s lane will be too busy to give Honingham residents access to the new A47; Too many roundabouts, this will slow traffic down and not improve traffic flow or time – one of your major objectives?; Blind Lane/Taverham Road roundabout will create a rat run to NDR – most unsuitable road; Old A47 to be severed thus restricting its use as a local road network and attracting unwanted illegal encampments; Access to Honingham Church and graveyard for vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians; Possible loss of the only bus that Honingham has and therefore public transport access to the GP surgery at Mattishall; Access to Hall Farm Honingham; Archaeology of proposed area and previous “digs” ; Flash flooding in Honingham; Trustworthiness of Highways England to deliver a proposal that is in the interests of locals rather than business….
We have discussed these matters as a Council, and we have invited response from Honingham parishioners – 19 of whom responded. The above points are expanded as follows:
“The whole process of local consultation is an expensive muddle, because the representatives from Highways England are not sufficiently aware of the local traffic and its problems. Proper consultation should include people who know and use the roads regularly. As a result, much of the meeting was spent explaining the issues to the reps!
The best point about the roundabouts, was made by Jerry who pointed out the jams caused by every one around Norwich will only be replicated on the A47 if there are no fly-overs. I would have hoped H.E. would have been aware of this.
The casual approach to costing I found disconcerting; it appears that H.E. don’t know exactly how much the scheme costs, to within a £100million. This is a disgraceful approach to using tax-payers’ money!
And the consultation process was further proved meaningless, when Ann Gowing, whose farm and home is right in the path of the proposed route, said at the meeting that she has received no communications from H.E. We are forced to conclude that the consulting is merely a box-ticking exercise.
We were depressed by the lack of efficiency of H.E. on every level”
“We are very concerned that HE do not seem to have done any serious research into the levels of traffic already existing nor serious projections for likely future traffic. We would strongly recommend that HE spend some time, preferably on a Friday evening, Monday morning or any Saturday during the Easter or summer holidays to monitor the traffic. We would also strongly request that any analysis or projections are shared with Honingham PC and the wider community. In our view the only appropriate option, if any, is to have a junction set into an embankment with the minor road passing overhead. This solution would also reduce the accompanying noise levels…….It seems clear that HE have not bothered to spend any time considering the consequences of their proposed plan. We believe they should specifically address all concerns on what happens to traffic north of the A47 if the connection to Ringland is severed at Easton….. HE do not address the Northern Distributor Route at all in the proposal. Given that this project is already underway and has limited options for any extensions to the west, including, to our knowledge, connecting at the Easton Roundabout, we believe that HE should specifically address this in their proposal. “
“. They (HE) seemed poorly briefed (not knowing about the Easton roundabout) and do not seem to have taken any opportunity to be shown around the area by any local bodies.
Do they really not have any idea about the expected route of the Western Link? If they don’t then they should not be running this project. If they do then why can’t they show it?”
“I am unconvinced of the openness and transparency of Highways England in view of: A)
HE’s knowledge of the area and not even taking the time to drive to familiarise themselves with the roads/junctions named on his map
B) unwillingness to leave the large scale map for perusal by parishioners.
C) The changes on September 11th to the August 2017 version posted out to local village residents, which detailed proposed junctions.
D) The subsequent email from Tassos ,two days later, changing even this version.
E) The expense of disregarding current roundabouts in favour of new ones, raising the question of vested interest in the food hub proposal…… If key aims for constructing a dual A47 are to save journey time and prevent traffic build up, there needs to be due consideration given to the CPREs report, “the end of the road”. Challenging the road building consensus (March 2017) shows that road widening induces more traffic within a few years, placing greater pressure on local roads. It finds little evidence of economic benefits.”
“Wait until plans for NDR and Food Hub are finalised, get more money and do the job properly giving graded access to the new dual carriageway, leaving the old A47 in place in its entirety.”
In conclusion, we believe that more time needs to be spent with local people who know the traffic problems and the roads that are to be affected by the new A47. We are happy to spend more time with you on this matter, to show you around Honingham and our many roads. Honingham is still recovering from the disaster of having the Honingham roundabout built; this is probably why we are more wary than most. We remain unconvinced that this road needs to be built – it certainly does not fulfil the original brief and it appears to cause more problems than it is attempting to solve. As many people have pointed out, too many roundabouts but what is needed are flyovers – without these we will just end up with the same traffic congestion and frustrated motorists using Honingham as a rat run. Is it really necessary to build this before plans for the NDR and the Food Hub are put forward? There does not appear to be any joined up thinking on this, surely A47 NDR and proposed Food Hub need to be looked at together rather than as separate issues?
Chairman Honingham Parish Council
On behalf of Honingham PC and the villagers of Honingham
David Bishop, Chair of Honingham parish Council, has received this update from Highways England following the discussion at our Parish Council Meeting:
In our meeting on 11th September at the Honingham Village Hall we have unintentionally misinformed you regarding the junction at the existing Easton Roundabout.
More specifically, our team stated that the roundabout at Easton junction will be retained in the proposed new A47. This is not true according to our current plan and please accept our sincere apologies for this mistake.
The plan is to build a roundabout at the intersection of the new A47 with Blind Lane and two link roads to the south of the new roundabout. The link roads will connect to the existing Norwich Rd Roundabout to the west and Dereham Rd to the east. This is reflected in the plan that we shared with you in that meeting and in the email afterwards.
I would like to thank you for your feedback and I hope this provides satisfactory clarification to you and the Honingham Parish Council. In addition, I would be grateful if you could share this with the parishioners as it should help allay many of their concerns.
If you have any other queries please feel free to contact us on our team inbox.
Anastasios Papapanagiotou, Graduate Civil Engineer
Highways England | Woodlands | Manton Lane | Bedford | MK41 7LW
Chairman of Honingham Parish Council, David Bishop, has now received draft proposal plan for the A47 dualling and how it affects Honingham. From what we can see there is definitely a proposal for roundabouts at Wood Lane, Blind Lane/Taverham Road, as well as Easton roundabout. It also looks as if our bit of the A47 may be lost in one or two places, and the new road (either embankment or flyover) will go in front of our Church. Honingham villagers need to see this proposal, and ask questions of Highways England – we need to put our views across. Please attend the meeting on Monday 11th Sept, and let your friends and neighbours know too.
If anyone wants an email copy of this proposal please contact Linda Human on email@example.com.
The Parish Council were informed that at Easton Parish Council, this evening, Highways England would be attending and discussing the A47 proposed route between E Tuddenham and Easton. Four of your councillors attended, David Bishop, Linda and Roger Human and Terry Sapey (+ Maureen Sapey); residents of Taverham Road Honingham also attended. It was very interesting – more so for what wasn’t said (or confirmed) than what we were told. Easton naturally concentrated on the Easton roundabout, but we asked questions regarding Wood Lane, our Church and Taverham Road. It is of concern that at present the suggested route for the new A47 to cross the present A47 is right in front of the church – and could well take the form of a flyover. Wood Lane appears to have a roundabout at the bottom/Honingham end, which may save our residents of Wood Lane – but of course, there is still no firm evidence of where the NDR will join the A47, and could be Wood Lane. Taverham Road residents have grave concerns as to whether the new A47 will go through their land. We have invited Highways England to attend our Parish Council Meeting – and they may be able to attend our meeting next Monday, 11th Sept. If not it will be Oct 9th. We would urge all Honingham residents to attend the meeting on the 11th Sept, if Highways England cannot make it we will let you know via website or Notice Boards and Phone Box.
A Planning Application has been received for extension to rear of garage at 42 The Street Honingham. It is Application Number 20171481 and can be viewed at www.broadland.gov.uk/plans by inserting the application number. This will be submitted for consideration by the PC at the meeting on Monday 11th Sept.
The Parish Council wished to consult with parishioners about their proposals for the village hall toilet improvements. To this effect, in May 2017, a questionnaire was sent to 142 households to gain parishioners’ views.
Put simply, the questionnaire listed the 3 main options.
There was also space for comments.
The response was poor, but of those questionnaires returned, the results are:
33.3% in favour of option 1
53.3% in favour of option 2
13.4% in favour of option 3.
If you haven’t returned your questionnaire yet, re upgrading toilets in the village hall, please return soon! Either post in the Phone Box or hand to any of the Parish Councillors….
Thank you ??
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?