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‘How many have to die?’ - Dangerous driving in Norfolk market town sparks calls for action

PUBLISHED: 15:13 14 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:28 15 January 2018

Breckland District councillor Harry Clarke and Mayor Hilary Bushell. Picture: Archant

Breckland District councillor Harry Clarke and Mayor Hilary Bushell. Picture: Archant

Archant

A district councillor has questioned how many people have to die before changes to speed limits will be implemented in Dereham.

The remarks, made by Breckland councillor Harry Clarke, come after police warned of drivers using the town as a “race track”.

Officers from Breckland Police conducted overnight speed checks on Quebec Road and Swaffham Road and caught one motorist travelling at 54mph in a 30mph zone.

The officers wrote on social media that they had also caught motorists wheel spinning at traffic lights, adding that there are “far too many tickets being issued”.

MORE: Police catch driver at 54mph in a 30mph limit

Speaking of dangerous driving on Quebec Road, Mr Clarke said: “How many have to die - or how many serious accidents are needed to ‘qualify’ for changes in speed limits and other improvements on this major route?”

Mr Clarke backed calls for speed limit changes on Holt Road / B1146, starting at Brick Kiln Farm, and ending at the start of a 30mph restriction on Quebec Road.

This section of road is currently marked as a national speed limit area but a number of people, including representatives of Hoe Parish Council and Quebec Hall care home have been calling for the speed limit to be changed to 40mph.

They highlight a number of hazards on or near the national speed limit zone, including Northgate High School, and claim that drivers often continue driving at speed after passing into the 30mph zone on Quebec Road.

MORE: Care home calls for speed limit change on Holt Road

“I’ve written on this in the past, but it now has reached a point where we need action,” Mr Clarke added.

Dereham mayor Hilary Bushell said the dangerous driving is “inexcusable” but lowering speed limits is unlikely to solve the problem.

“As these irresponsible drivers are unable to adhere to the existing speed limits it would seem pointless to try to lower them even further, especially when most of the roads concerned are within a 30 limit zone,” she said.

“The police have said that if anyone can obtain the index number of a vehicle that is behaving irresponsibly, together with the time and location, they should inform them so that the matter can be investigated.”

Mrs Bushell encouraged people to attend the Safer Neighbourhood meeting, where the issue can be discussed further. The meeting will take place on January 31 at 7pm at the Breckland Council Meeting Rooms.

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