Calls for roundabouts at Fakenham junctions renewed after county’s accident blackspots are revealed

Fakenham mayor George Acheson. Picture: Ian Burt

Fakenham mayor George Acheson. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The inclusion of two Fakenham junctions on a list of the county council’s top 10 accident blackspots has prompted renewed calls for roundabouts to be installed.

The county’s junctions with the highest number of accidents were revealed by Norfolk County Council (NCC) as work at Norfolk’s most dangerous junction, the A146 in Hales, gets underway.

And councillors have described the two junctions in the Fakenham area that made it onto the list as both “dangerous” and “difficult”.

Cherry Tree Corner, near the rugby club, and the crossing of the Hempton and Dereham roads, have seen a combined total of 26 casualties in the past six years.

Ten accidents have occurred at Cherry Tree Corner since 2011, resulting in 16 casualties, five of them described by the council as “serious”, while at the Hempton junction there have been five accidents in the past six years, resulting in ten casualties.

Fakenham mayor, George Acheson, described Cherry Tree Corner as “dangerous”.

He said: “It doesn’t surprise me that this is an accident blackspot for Norfolk.

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“I am aware that it’s a very dangerous junction.”

He added: “Fakenham Town Council has strongly suggested to the district and county councils that the Cherry Tree Corner junction should be part of the road network to deal with the 950 new houses.

“We have strongly argued that the road traffic at that corner should come to a roundabout.”

And the deputy mayor of Fakenham, Gilly Foortse, added that another roundabout at the Hempton junction could also be provided to improve safety.

She said: “I take that road quite often to drive into Dereham, and its a difficult turning as nobody knows who’s got priority.”

Cllr Foortse added that while the Hempton junction isn’t in the Fakenham parish, the issue is a matter of concern for the wider Fakenham area and residents.

She said: “We really need a roundabout at the Hempton junction. People speed up as they’re leaving a 30mph zone.”

And she also expressed concern over the number of accidents at both junctions in the area.

She said: “You can’t have that level of fatality in such a short period of time.

“Residents do know the roads but we also get a lot of out-of-town traffic, and its a very tricky area to navigate.”