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Talking transport
We want your comments about the ups and downs of getting around Norfolk - do you have a terrible travel tale to tell?
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Speed cameras in general are a total waste of time if you ask me. They are blatantly there, to catch people speeding but they don't do justice. People speeding see them at the side of the road and slow down to avoid being snapped, but as soon as they are out sight people carry on their normal speeds. It's pathetic. I believe that they should be hidden so people can be snapped in the action.

ANNETTE, DEVON

SPACER.

Firstly a compliment to Anglia Railways - last week my wife and I had a day out on their rover ticket. We caught six trains during the day. Not one was dirty and all were on time. Are things really improving or were we just lucky. On a totally different subject I wish to complain about the spread of the totally unreasonable 20mph speed limits. I understand that they are around schools but that excuse is for one hour twice a day for about two thirds of the year. For the rest of the time can commonsense not prevail and return the road to its former limit. I, for one, would feel very aggrieved if I were 'done' for doing 30mph in a 20 zone outside of school time when sensible drivers should, in any case, already be exercising extreme care.

STUART, BRAMPTON

SPACER.

It would seem from most comments that people are happy to spend longer on their journeys each year. Over the last few years more and more speed restrictions have been applied that slow us down even more. Buses are a joke - filthy and slow. The trains are more dangerous and slower that 100 years ago. So many drivers now come out of one of the many 40/50mph speed limits and just stay at that speed, holding up those of us who wish to get to our destinations in a reasonable time. They then wonder why others wish to overtake! Try Eurostar to the continent: London to the tunnel - stop/go at speeds between 0 and 50mph. Come out of the tunnel and in no time you are cruising at 180mph! We are the laughing stock of Europe.

DAVID CUNNINGHAM, AYLSHAM

SPACER.

As a recent migrant from London to Norfolk, I can't see what all the fuss is about. The road network appears to serve the county well. So what if it takes an hour and a half to traverse the A1065? It used to take me longer than that to travel the 9 miles from Bromley to central London on a good day. The scenery is better and the drivers more courteous too.

RUSS, NORWICH

SPACER.

Whilst I sympathise and mainly agree with Matt from Norwich's remarks about slower drivers, one must realise that a speed limit is just that & NOT a target!
I see far too much bullying from other drivers in the form of tailgating. Live & let live. One of my main grumbles is people who drive at an inconsistent speed, hovering between 45 & 60mph making overtaking impossible. Please make up your mind guys & gals! But my main concern is maniac drivers, often in coaches & vans, who bomb around narrow country lanes with no thought for other road users, especially pedestrians - so much for quiet lanes! These people seem to presume that everyone else will get out of their way, this might not always be the case so please take more care. Happy Motoring!

HOLLY, BRIGGATE

SPACER.

Whilst I agree that many of the roads in this county are not as good as they might be, I would say that most of the main A-roads are still good enough for safe travel at 60 mph in normal conditions.
So, where 60 is the speed limit, why do so many drivers insist on causing large queues of traffic by driving slower than this? I am certainly not advocating dangerous overtaking manoeuvres, as these are clearly foolish, even if no accident is caused. However it is easy to understand how drivers become frustrated when they have been stuck behind somebody doing 10-20 mph below the speed limit for miles on end, and for no apparent reason. It states in the Highway Code that slower drivers should pull over to let others past, but this never seems to happen.
So, if you are one of these drivers - PLEASE, for all our sakes, either drive a little faster, or if you don't have the confidence to do this, then pull over now and again to let the rest of us pass.
Of course, this won't solve all the traffic problems, but I'm sure it would improve traffic flow somewhat, and may even prevent a few accidents.

MATT, NORWICH

SPACER.

I've been reading the letters about different roads and carriageways in Norfolk, and I can tell you all, you'll be perfectly safe from me as I never drive when in England. I drive on freeways over here, whether in Southern California around Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area or Oregon with logging trucks and triple trailers trying to scare the pants off anybody in the way or Florida 119 from Tampa Airport. But whoever devised the roundabout system that you have - and some of the other road systems- must have been having several bad weeks. What's with the roundabouts that are just flat painted circles for goodness' sake?

ALBERTA SAYER CONGER, WILDERVILLE, OREGON

SPACER.

What a nightmare! I travel down the A47 - I want to get to Wroxham. I know I will go down that racetrack by the showground through the chicanes, through Costessey and down to the magic roundabout. Turn left on that outer ring road - my God am I on a racing circuit? Drivers weaving left to right: must be the warm-up lap. Oh, now I know what it is, this lane filters left only. Damn, now I have gone into a turn right only lane. We are all right now, by the fire station up the hill. At last, the Wroxham roundabout. Not bad, must be a lap record: two hours.

Sorry to be flippant, but that ring road must be the worst road in Norwich - it is to strangers anyway. You should follow Leicester's example of road planning - everybody gets lost. You cannot go fast because you do not know where you are going.

JOHN KENDALL, LEICESTER

SPACER.

Following your 'dangerous roads' article, I would like to suggest that 90 degree exits and entries on dual carriageways or national speed limit single carriage ways are more prominently indicated. A prime example is the 90 degree turn-off on the A11 to the villages of Ketteringham and East Carlton which is situated approximately one mile south of the Thickthorne Roundabout. Once clear of the city, it would seem to be a relief to many drivers to 'put their foot down' on the first 'fast' stretch. However for drivers using that exit it is very stressful believing that you are about to be rammed in the back by a driver who does not realise that this is not a slip road, and that the car in front cannot safely drive that corner on two wheels at 70 miles per hour because the driver behind failed to observe the road signs. The flashing speed limit signs seem to have a positive affect on road safety. Could something similar be trialled - an intermittent sign indicating a 90 degree turn ahead on such carriageways.

L ROLFE, KUALA LUMPUR

SPACER.

The A1065 is a doddle compared to the A140, which should be dualled.

M GAZE, DISS
SPACER.

We must ask why people travel at excessive speed. Noting that it is always "people" who travel too fast, never you or me. The speed brigade appears to consist of young hooligans, trying to impress their mates, or courier drivers and sales reps in a frightful hurry to meet their targets.

This is often the case due to speed restrictions in & around towns. Consider the infamous A1065. Following the expansion of Swaffham, the building of new housing estates, commercial estates, and the superstore, the 30mph & 40mph limits have been expanded further and further.

It should be remembered that the A1065 is a major through road; Swaffham exists as a direct result of being on such a road, otherwise it would just be another sleepy little village.

Indeed, if the limits in Swaffham are pushed further south, and the limits at Mundford are extended north, it would only require the residents in Hilborough to jump on the bandwagon, and this entire stretch of A1065 could be effectively closed to through traffic.

Of course, those drivers forced to take a 30 mile detour to avoid the A1065 restrictions, would probably drive at 90-100mph to make up for lost time; but that would be someone else's problem!

DEE, SWAFFHAM

SPACER.

The Parish Council of Mundford, a village of approximately 1,500 people divided by the A134 and A1065, has been campaigning for the reduction of the current 50mph speed limit for many years on safety grounds. Until last year the A134 was the responsibility of the Highways Authority who, before surrendering their responsibility to Norfolk County Council, after an independent survey on the A134 recommended that the speed limit be dropped to 40mph and that a proper school crossing should be actioned. Although their survey did not include the A1065, they also recommended a reduction in speed limit on this road. Norfolk County Council has refused to accept a need for reduced speed. Twelve months and many accidents later it would appear that they may have agreed to allow a reduction to 40mph, but nothing has yet been done. It was also suggested to NCC that the start of the speed limit on the A1065 be extended towards Swaffham to take in a new road entrance to Manor Farm Duck Factory, a garage forecourt, two busy road junctions and a transport cafe. Likewise we asked for the start of the speed limit on the A134 to be extended back further towards Thetford which we hoped would reduce the speed of traffic in to our dangerous roundabout on the junction of the A134 and the A1065. We are still a village awaiting serious tragedy on our roads, and action from by Norfolk County Council.

CHARLES MOSS, MUNDFORD

SPACER.

There should be more money invested road improvements such as making junctions safer and reducing the number of accesses to and from minor roads on main roads. There should also be a move from investment in dual carriageways and bypasses to investing in bringing back and extending the old rail network.

STEPHEN OLLEY, MILEHAM

SPACER.

Traffic laws were enacted from a history of tragic death and injury mishaps. The safety lessons learned seem to have been lost by many road users. Drivers who fail to heed the law are "armed" criminals and a potential threat to all others who use the public roads. A new "zero tolerance" must be applied fairly, but firmly. An improved and lower threshold legal definition of dangerous driver needs to be established and all identified dangerous drivers should be denied the privilege of driving on public roads until their case is held before a court and their vehicle "weapon" confiscated on the spot. If convicted, these "weapons" must be sold to pay for better road safety schemes or court costs.

HJ, NORFOLK

SPACER.

I have the misfortune to live at the Castle Acre junction to the A1065, and am not in the least surprised to see that this is the most dangerous stretch of road in East Anglia. I have witnessed several accidents at this junction and dread having to pull onto the road at any time of day, and in the morning in particular. A hill crest makes it impossible to see oncoming traffic coming from Fakenham and the shortsighted and selfish use of excessive speed of many motorists endangers both my and their lives quite frequently. The introduction of a 50mph speed restriction and speed cameras by this small but busy turning would be very welcome.

SUSAN, NEWTON BY CASTLEACRE

SPACER.

I'm a fairly new driver but drive from Suffolk to Norfolk every weekend, over 40 miles of the 60 mile journey is on single carriageways and I feel I can tell when it's safe to overtake and when not to, the problem is people that don't have experience on country roads and are used to the other lane always being free. It's a fact, drivers need to change how they drive the roads, sounds very simple and almost patronising but if you are at all unsure, don't risk it. If you do the above maybe you'll one day be one of those 'Sunday drivers' that you are always so eager to get by (I know I am). If you'd ever want to be one that is!

CHRIS, FELIXSTOWE

SPACER.

Using the A1065 reasonably regularly, I am constantly amazed by the number of motorists I see who are clearly driving too fast, overtaking in an unsafe way (coming up to the brow of a hill or on a bend where it is impossible to tell if there is any oncoming traffic), or driving too closely to the car in front. All of it bad driving - not a bad road. This emphasis of blaming "the road" is yet another way of trying to remove any blame from drivers for bad driving practice.

When driving we should be constantly taking account of the road conditions and other road users and drive defensively. We should not just try to get from A to B in the shortest possible time.

HELEN, NORFOLK

SPACER.

Re the A1065 I quite agree with Helen. Having moved to Norfolk on retirement over four years ago I have been horrified by the speeds some motorists travel at on what are really only country roads even if they are graded A roads. I suspect some people have not adjusted to the increasing traffic density. I cannot see why the A1065 does not have a maximum 50 mph speed limit all the way from Fakenham to Barton Mills.

MIKE, HIGH KELLING


 





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