Norfolk County Council secures £3 million for new roundabout on A140 between Norwich and Ipswich

19 October 2017

Norfolk County Council has won £3.05 million of government funding to replace a busy staggered crossroads on the A140 at Hempnall between Norwich and Ipswich with a roundabout.

The Department for Transport made the announcement today (Thursday, 19 October) to award the money to the County Council from its National Productivity Investment Fund. 

People who use the current junction often experience queuing and long delays, particularly on the B1527 to Hempnall, and it is expected that the new roundabout will address this, leading to shorter journey times and less congestion. 

The existing junction also has a poor accident record, with eight accidents in the last five years which resulted in 11 casualties and two categorised as serious. These were linked to traffic turning onto the A140 from the minor roads and the replacement roundabout will eliminate this issue and should therefore significantly improve the safety of the junction for all road users. 

Martin Wilby, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve won this money for Norfolk. Better road and transport links are vital to the county, leading to a better quality of life for people living and working here, improving road safety and attracting new investment and more jobs. 

“This is a junction that is clearly in great need of improvement and I’m really pleased we’ve managed to convince central government of this. I’m proud and grateful to all those who have helped to secure this funding.”

Other benefits the roundabout will provide that helped Norfolk County Council secure funding from central government include supporting better regional transport connections, particularly between Norwich and Ipswich, and providing additional road capacity for proposed development nearby at Long Stratton which is set to include up to 1,800 new homes.

Alison Thomas, who has represented Hempnall as part of Long Stratton division on Norfolk County Council for the last 10 years, said: “I’ve lived in the area for 22 years and have been campaigning for these improvements all that time.

“Whether or not additional housing is built, we need a roundabout at Hempnall, because there is a dangerous, risky junction. This work will improve safety along the A140, its feeder roads and the entire Norwich to Ipswich corridor.”

The total cost of constructing the roundabout is estimated to be £4.36 million, with the remainder of the money for the project set to come principally from developer funding.

Work to construct the roundabout, subject to planning permission, is planned to begin in autumn 2019 for an opening in early summer 2020.

Ian Nelson at Hempnall Parish Council said: “Parishioners will be relieved a safer junction will be formed, especially with the expected increase in traffic as a result of the proposed Long Stratton development.”

South Norfolk Council Leader John Fuller said: “We're working flat out to ensure that the infrastructure that maintains and enhances our residents’ quality of life is built alongside or in advance of the building of new homes.  

“This is just another example of improvements that are now committed, from fixed flooding at Wymondham station, rebuilding leisure facilities in Wymondham, new roundabouts near Loddon and the Street scene improvements in Diss.

“And of course, it also is an essential part of the work to ensure that the Long Stratton bypass is delivered with the construction of new homes alongside improvements in leisure and sporting provision that have already been completed.”

National Productivity Investment Fund

In April 2017 the Department for Transport issued National Productivity Investment Fund guidance for local highway authorities to submit a maximum of two bids over two financial years (2018/19 & 2019/20). 

Most bids are expected to fall within the £2-£5m range and should “increase and rebalance productivity, by relieving congestion and delivering upgrades to local roads and public transport networks. They must promote or facilitate one or more of the following aims:

1) ease congestion and provide upgrades on important national, regional or local routes
2) unlock economic and job creation opportunities; or
3) enable the delivery of new housing developments.”

For political comment

Cllr Martin Wilby (Conservative) Chairman of the Environment, Development and Transport Committee, on 07920 286618 or 01379 741504
Cllr Terry Jermy (Labour) on 01842 630851
Cllr Tim East (Liberal Democrat), on 01603 743241

Cllr Alison Thomas, County Councillor for Long Stratton division, on 07920 286603

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