Councillor demands action after pedestrian hit by van in town

Dereham market place. Can you help the Times continue to carry out important journalism? Picture: Ia

Dereham market place. Can you help the Times continue to carry out important journalism? Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A councillor has urged colleagues to take action for a second time after a pedestrian was sent to hospital after being struck by a van.

Dereham Town Councillor and Breckland councillor for Dereham Withburga, Harry Clarke, is demanding his colleagues take action in an area with low visibility after an accident left a man in hospital on Friday, December 4.

Dereham town centre. Picture: Archant

Dereham town centre. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Police were called at 9.50am to reports of an incident involving a van and a male pedestrian on the corner of Church Street and Market Place in Dereham on December 4.

Two police cars and one ambulance were called to the scene, which happened in front of Flour and Bean on market day.

The man was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by ambulance and his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

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Police are believed to be investigating the incident.

Breckland District councillor Harry Clarke. Picture: Harry Clarke

Breckland District councillor Harry Clarke. Picture: Harry Clarke - Credit: Archant

Mr Clarke raised concerns about dangers of pedestrians crossing the road on the corner, back in October.

At the time he urged Norfolk County councillors to consider a bus station in Dereham after regularly seeing “near misses” between pedestrians and vehicles.

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After hearing about Friday's incident, Mr Clarke said: "I always hope that our county councillors will take action before accidents rather than afterwards.

"I have been banging on about buses and traffic in the market place for some time.

"Its a question of priorities for example, traffic restrictions Withburga Lane or a busy area?"

The councillor raised the “important and long standing issue” about the need for a bus station in Dereham at a town council meeting on September 8.

He spoke of regularly seeing buses queuing in the Market Place causing people to peer out between vehicles to cross a busy road and said: “What isn’t often highlighted is the problem of buses from the High Street queuing outside the estate agents, sometimes three together - this reduces any visibility for anyone trying to cross the road.

“I regularly see near misses of people peering between and round buses and darting across the road. There weren’t any buses or large vehicles when Dereham was built, we need a bus station.”

Phillip Duigan, county councillor for South Dereham said: "It's a tragedy what happened, but I think we need to wait for the police to investigate the accident.

"It is a problem which we [Norfolk County Council] are always looking at."

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