Frustration as agency fails to show
Laura Bagshaw THE Highways Agency has been criticised for failing to attend two meetings about Great Yarmouth's notorious bottleneck Gapton Hall roundabout. Representatives were due to meet county councillors at a Great Yarmouth's area committee meeting on Monday but failed to show.
THE Highways Agency has been criticised for failing to attend two meetings about Great Yarmouth's notorious bottleneck Gapton Hall roundabout.
Representatives were due to meet county councillors at a Great Yarmouth's area committee meeting on Monday but failed to show. Last Thursday, the Agency didn't bother turning up to a gathering of pressure group, the Gapton Hall Task Force.
Councillor Trevor Wainwright said: “I think it is very disappointing the Highways Agency is not here, I'm sure they could have sent someone.”
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Instead, councillors were shown a short presentation by Atkins, the Agency's consultants.
Network manager Lee Cornwall said a £1.1m traffic lights scheme could cut queuing time by more than 50pc but it was unlikely to be installed until late 2009 at the earliest. He said a new set of traffic lights would be installed on the A12 northbound junction.
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However, councillors criticised the model because it did not consider traffic generated from the outer harbour.
Mr Cornwall said: “We have not factored traffic from the outer harbour because we don't know what it is.”
He added that data on vehicle flows from the outer harbour could be fed into the model as they became available.
Slamming the proposals Mr Wainwright said: “We have been talking about this for the last 18 months and what we want is something done now.
“I could have saved you thousands of pounds on modelling - we have been talking about installing traffic lights on the A12 northbound junction for years. That's what the police have always wanted. Late-2009 implementation at the earliest is very disappointing.”
Councillor Bert Collins was concerned if nothing was done soon to improve the roundabout people would stay clear of Yarmouth and opt to shop in Lowestoft or Norwich instead.
“We are driving people away from Yarmouth,” he said.
And councillor Colleen Walker “could not believe” traffic from the outer harbour had not been taken into consideration.
She said: “We could have a bigger traffic problem in three years time. You know the outer harbour is coming, why not take it into consideration?”
Mr Cornwall said he realised the “frustration” of the timescale for improvements adding that a “low cost” option could be brought forward but he could not speak on behalf of the agency.