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'Russian roulette' on the high street

PUBLISHED: 17:17 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 July 2010

LIVES will be lost unless measures are taken to improve traffic safety on Gorleston High Street, according to a campaigning resident.

Pauline Dodd believes speed limits must be enforced following a series of accidents along the busy thoroughfare in recent years.

LIVES will be lost unless measures are taken to improve traffic safety on Gorleston High Street, according to a campaigning resident.

Pauline Dodd believes speed limits must be enforced following a series of accidents along the busy thoroughfare in recent years.

She has had a frustrating time trying to convince transport bosses that more needs to be done to tackle speeding drivers on the street.

Pensioner Mrs Dodd, 67, was spurred into action when a car crashed into neighbour Steve Grimmer's home last July causing £20,000 of damage.

“During the six years I have lived here the traffic situation has become worse and worse,” she said. “The speeds at which the majority of traffic passes my front door are positively dangerous.

“Many of us on this road have neither garden, nor front wall and therefore no defence from traffic. If a car goes out of control it will mount a very narrow pavement and hit our houses.

“It is just Russian roulette whose house gets hit next time and if nothing is done the chances are that someone will get killed.

“There will be more accidents and it is not very nice hearing the traffic screaming past your sitting room wondering whether or not it is going to be your turn next.”

An electronic sign flashing up the 30mph speed limit was temporarily placed on the street following the accident at Mr Grimmer's house.

Furniture maker Mr Grimmer was watching TV when the driver smashed into the front of the 17th century house causing significant damage that took several months to repair.

The Mercury reported last month that he was calling for traffic calming measures to make the road safer

In previous accidents last year a driver died when he hit a fence along the high street and residents had to be evacuated when a car caused a gas leak after smashing into a house.

Mrs Dodd is calling for more speed limit signs along the street, increased police speed checks and a reduction to 20mph.

Transport bosses at Norfolk County Council say that automatic speed checkers showed that drivers averaged between 23 and 29mph and the current speed limit is appropriate.

A council spokesman said: “Although the temporary speed-reactive sign has now gone, it would certainly be possible for it to be used again in the future at another location on the High Street. These signs are most effective when used for relatively short periods of time. Enforcement of the speed limit is of course a matter for the police.

“The longer-term traffic arrangements for Gorleston High Street are still being considered with a view to finding a way forward that is supported both by traders and residents.”

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