Wildlife survey before road safety
Safety measures to improve a notorious stretch of the A47 could be under threat from the findings of a wildlife survey.For years families whose loved ones have been killed on the Acle Straight fought tirelessly for a better layout in a bid to prevent more loss of life.
Safety measures to improve a notorious stretch of the A47 could be under threat from the findings of a wildlife survey.
For years families whose loved ones have been killed on the Acle Straight fought tirelessly for a better layout in a bid to prevent more loss of life.
And when the Highways Agency announced it was looking at relocating the dyke there was relief all around.
But last night the A47 Alliance, which includes members of Norfolk County Council, MPs and emergency services, was told the findings of a detailed wildlife survey, currently being carried out at the dykes, would be key in whether the waterways could be moved.
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Surveys started in May and will carry on until October, with particular attention paid to newts, otters, voles and ramshorn snails.
The results will be reported to Natural England, whose views will be key as to whether or not the dyke relocation trials go ahead.
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Adrian Gunson, chairman of the alliance and county council cabinet member for planning and transportation, said: “While this road remains single carriageway, these water-filled roadside dykes remain a dreadful additional hazard to travellers.
“Looking after the natural environment is important, but we don't need a six-month survey to tell us that people need protecting now.
“These are manmade dykes and it should be borne in mind that environmental considerations do not prevent many of them being regularly cleared with diggers. It should be possible to come up with a solution that protects people and wildlife.”
Meanwhile the Highways Agency confirmed work on the new roundabout at the Mattishall Road junction, in Honingham, will start in September and should finish next March.