Bid for 10,000 names on Acle Straight petition

Mick Castle Acle Straight

Mick Castle, independent Norfolk County Councillor, who will retire after the local elections on May 6, has set up a petition, urging the dualling of the Acle Straight, on the government website. - Credit: Archant

The organiser of a petition urging the government to dual the Acle Straight hopes to get at least 10,000 signatures - as a bus company warns about safety along the notorious road.

The online campaign was launched on the government's website by Mick Castle, independent county councillor, and so far has just under 600 signatures.

By September, if the petition has 10,000 names, that would be enough to get a response from Whitehall.

A47 Acle Straight
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

A47 Acle Straight Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Mr Castle, who is retiring after the local elections on May 6, said: "The Acle Straight always gets sidelined. But this would send a very substantial message that it's about time they did something and hopefully they will consider it for the road programme between now and 2025."

Last September, in the latest of a series of dashed hopes, Highways England announced that the dualling of the eight-mile stretch of road will not be included in the third round of its road improvement strategy for projects from 2025 to 2030

Mr Castle set up his petition as levels of traffic on the road increased again after the loosening of lockdown on April 12, and bus drivers noticing an increase in road traffic incidents.

Chris Speed, general manager, on one of the new First Eastern Counties buses on the Green Line Wymon

Chris Speed, general manager, on one of the new First Eastern Counties buses on the Green Line Wymondham to Norwich route. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: ”Our drivers have noticed that there has been an increase in traffic along the Acle Straight especially at busy times of the day, also an increase in road traffic incidents which obviously can impact on the bus services we operate to and from Great Yarmouth.

"I certainly think more needs to be done to improve safety along this stretch of road to reduce further incidents occurring.

"However, we also need to be mindful that as we move out of the Covid restrictions, people are venturing out for the first time in many months and they are getting used to dealing with the ‘new normal’ and settling back into routine," Mr Speed said.

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The petition is not the first.

In 2007, Gorleston biker Steve Dix secured almost 2,000 signatures.

Twelve years earlier, pressure group the A47 Alliance also began their campaign calling on the government to improve the road.

The latest petition can be signed at the following link: