We are proposing to improve the existing Hempton Green Road (B1146) / Dereham Road (C550) junction at Hempton, near Fakenham, by replacing the current crossroads with a new roundabout, and new and improved paths and crossings for pedestrians.
The aim of the scheme is to help improve safety and reduce congestion at this location which has seen a number of road collisions in recent years. In the recent 5 year period (2016 – 2020), there have been three collisions documented as ‘serious’ and three collisions documented as ‘slight’ at the existing crossroads junction. It has been identified that replacing the existing crossroads with the proposed roundabout will reduce the level of risk at the junction.
If approved, construction will commence in 2022.
The improvements are expected to cost £1.65m. Funding for the scheme was agreed by the Environment, Development and Transport Committee in January 2019, and would come from the extra £20m that was allocated for roads in November 2017.
What is proposed?
The proposal is for a new four-armed roundabout to replace the current Dereham Road (C550) / Hempton Green Road (B1146) crossroads. The works will include:
Construction of a new roundabout immediately north east of the existing junction
Realignment of the B1146 approaches to the roundabout
Realignment of the junction of Pond Road (U14044) with Dereham Road (C550) to move it further away from the new roundabout
Improvements to the bus stop layby on the C550 Dereham Road towards Fakenham
New pedestrian crossings on the south west and south east arms of the roundabout, and new roads signs on the approach to the roundabout
Planting, including 4 larger trees and sowing of wildflower mix (grass seed)
Traffic volumes are not expected to change due to the scheme. The traffic modelling shows that congestion would be reduced, especially on Dereham Rd (C550) which currently suffers from significant delays. At present the junction is experiencing delays of 1.5 minutes during PM peak hours. This will increase to over 2 minutes by 2026. However, the transport assessment has predicted that the introduction of a roundabout at this junction will reduce traffic delays to below 5 seconds at both AM and PM peak hours. The roundabout would slow traffic down on Hempton Green Road (C550) / Dereham Road (C550) approaches and make it easier and safer for vehicles on all approaches to cross or turn. It would also make it much easier for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate the junction.
The roundabout is predicted to increase noise levels to a small extent, but the modelling suggests any increase will be barely noticeable to nearby residents in Dereham Road approximately 60m to the east and Bakery Court on The Green approximately 100m to the north.
It is not the council’s intention to have any adverse impacts on any natural habitat. We always seek to avoid this wherever possible and any necessary tree removal is given very careful consideration. Unfortunately, two trees identified as small or as being in poor condition, would need to be removed for the roundabout to be built. All the other small trees currently on site would be carefully protected while construction is underway.
Planting would be an important part of the scheme with proposals for the planting of 4 larger trees and a mixture of wildflower and grass seeds sown across the site. Planting would be carried out using carefully selected native species to help boost biodiversity.
Protection of wildlife
If the proposals go ahead, we would work closely with ecologists before, during and after construction to ensure any plants and animals that may be impacted are identified and protected.
A full flood risk assessment has been conducted on the Hempton Roundabout site. Based on the findings of this assessment, it is considered that the proposed redevelopment poses a low to negligible flood risk. A sustainable drainage system (SUDS) is proposed.