Hedges to be trimmed to improve visibility for motorists joining A47 from Wisbech crossroads

HEDGES will be trimmed back to improve visibility for motorists joining the A47 Wisbech bypass at a dangerous crossroads.

Skid-resistant tarmac, collapsible bollards and a no overtaking zone could also be introduced at the Broadend Road junction after councillors discussed ideas to improve its safety with the Highways Agency.

Today’s meeting was organised by Wisbech town councillor Robert McLaren who is leading the revived safety campaign. Also in attendance were Wisbech councillors Simon King and David Hodgson and Andy Jobling, David Bullock and Andrew Wallace from the Highways Agency.

Cllr McLaren said: “In the short-term the Highways Agency is going to make sure that drivers have better visibility by trimming the hedgerows back. In the future it could lay red skid-resistant tarmac and possibly some collapsible bollards.

“I am also going to negotiate with police to monitor the junction and talk to anyone caught overtaking near it.”

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Cllr McLaren revived the campaign for safety improvements at the junction last year, calling for the speed limit to be reduced from 60mph to 40mph and red ‘do not enter’ zones to be marked on chevrons.

He said: “Andy Jobling wanted to stop people turning right from Broadend Road onto the A47 because three of the last four crashes at the junction have involved cars turning right out of Broadend Road.

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“I said it is not viable because so many people need to turn right and turning left would result in a two-mile diversion (to the Little Chef roundabout and back). As a result it will be quicker to go through town and drivers will find alternative routes, causing traffic problems in other parts of Wisbech.”

Discussions will be ongoing between councillors and the Highways Agency. Anyone with safety suggestions should contact Cllr McLaren on 01945 474270.

MPs Henry Bellingham and Liz Truss have previously met residents and councillors in the past to discuss their concerns about the staggered crossroads.

However, a spokesman for Norfolk County Council said there have been just two recorded minor injury accidents at that section of the A47 between October 2008 and September 2011.

Teenagers Robert Hostler, 17, and Claire Stubberfield, 19, were the last fatalities at the Walsoken junction in a two-car collision in December 2007.

Cllr McLaren said: “We are not prepared, as town councillors, to let this go - this is a bad junction. It’s on ongoing project that is not going to be forgotten.”

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