Work has begun on a long campaigned for roundabout at the junction of the A148 and B1436 at Felbrigg near Cromer, following the announcement in June 2016 that the £619,000 funding had been secured from a number of partners.
To allow the scheme to go ahead Hilary Cox, local County Councillor for Cromer, worked to secure pledges of money from Norfolk County Council, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), North Norfolk District Council, Cromer Town Council, local parish councils of Roughton, Runton and Felbrigg, and developers and local businesses.
The work is expected to take 12 weeks to complete so the new roundabout should be in place by the end of May.
Hilary Cox, County Councillor for Cromer, said: “It’s so gratifying, after so many years of effort, to see this scheme about to start, and backed by such a wide range of community supporters. The new roundabout means the junction will be much easier to negotiate, safer, and encourage vehicles that do not need to stop in Cromer to bypass it and cut congestion in the town. I’m looking forward to seeing the roundabout ready not only for all the local residents and businesses but also all the people who come to enjoy this lovely part of the world during the busy summer season.”
Martin Wilby, Chairman of the Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Transport and Development Committee said; “This is a great example of a community coming together to deliver a local priority. This new roundabout will benefit local people and visitors alike. We try to minimise disruption during roadworks but know that delays are likely while the work is underway so we thank people for their patience while this much called for local scheme is built. It’s the first time we’ve seen a scheme made possible through partners’ contributions. This could well point the way forward for other requests for larger schemes which don’t meet the criteria for the county council to fund alone but which could be made possible if enough partners can chip in.”
Chris Starkie, Managing Director of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The LEP Board was impressed by the original submission for this project and delighted to provide the final piece of funding to get it over the line. A faster and safer road network in North Norfolk is good news for local people, visitors and businesses, and for the economy of the East as a whole.”
During the majority of the work both the A148 and the B1436 will remain open however delays are likely as traffic will be controlled by temporary traffic lights so motorists are advised to leave extra time for their journeys.A temporary closure of the route will be required when the new roundabout is being surfaced. As the progress of any road improvement scheme can be affected by a number of factors, including the weather, the date of the closure is not yet set but will be advertised nearer the time.
Cllr Sue Arnold, North Norfolk District Council Ward Member for Felbrigg and Chairman of the Steps to Safety Campaign said: “North Norfolk District Council is pleased to have been able to contribute nearly £30,000 to this project that will improve safety on the roads for our residents while cutting congestion and making visiting our beautiful area better for tourists. To get to this point after so many years is terrific, and it has taken hard work and strong support from many sides. I would especially like to thank the dedication and financial contribution made by local parish councils that have given at a level out of proportion to their relatively small size. And tribute must be paid to the members of the Steps committee who have worked tirelessly for many years to achieve this much needed road safety feature. Working together really does make good things happen.”
Vice-Chairman of Felbrigg Parish Council, Councillor Denis Connelly, speaking on behalf of the three parish councils involved, said: “We are very pleased, after all the hard work over many years, that construction of this roundabout is about to commence. I am sure that it will operate for the safety and benefit of all who use it. Thanks to everyone who has campaigned long and hard for its construction.”