Halvergate Marshes

As referred to earlier, residents’ questionnaire response showed that there are significant concerns about traffic and highway conditions in the parish.

Traffic speed

30 MPH SignIn answer to the statement “There is a problem with speeding traffic”, of the 164 answers 74% Strongly Agree or Agree, with 16% Neutral and only 10% Disagreeing.

Seven locations were mentioned in addition to the four listed in the question about where speeding occurs. There were 231 mentions in total (many respondents referring to more than one) and those of most concern are Marsh Road with 40% of mentions, The Street 19%, Moulton Road 14%, Tunstall Road 8% and Mill Road 6%. The other, less often mentioned places should not necessarily be disregarded as bigger scores may be a reflection of the larger numbers of residents living on or using those roads – i.e. the lower scoring roads are not necessarily less affected by speeding traffic.

Table 3 – ‘If you agree there is a problem with speeding traffic, where is this the case?’The areas parishioners indicated where there is a problem with speeding traffic

Those agreeing there was a speeding problem were asked whether they would agree or not to the installation of ‘Calming Bumps’ or ‘Flashing 30’ signals. From 121 potential respondents, 97 answers were recorded concerning ‘bumps’ and 107 about ‘flashing signs’ – showing that some people did not respond while others had an opinion on both options. On balance, there is a clear preference for ‘Flashing 30’ signals, 86% of its answers in the ‘Agree’ category compared with 41% for ‘Calming Bumps’.

Table 4 – ‘If you think there is a speeding problem, how much do you agree or disagree with the following?’Responses to suggestions on how to tackle speeding

Image kindly provided by Norfolk PoliceA number of other ideas were given by respondents, including, in order of prominence: Speed Cameras/Guns (14 mentions); Road narrowing/Chokers (4);‘Please Drive Carefully In Our Village’ signs (2) – including a suggestion for incorporating children’s artworks; and one for coloured tarmac at entry points to 30 MPH zone.

Traffic volume

Views on the volume of traffic in the parish were also explored by asking for levels of Agreement/ Disagreement on three issues raised at the Open Day. The propositions people were asked to respond to were: A. ‘There is too much traffic through the village generally’; B. ‘Traffic causes problems when the Cricket is on’; and C. ‘There is too much heavy vehicle traffic in the village’.

The result showed that across the broader community there is not a strong feeling on this matter. In the ranking of all responses by ‘strength of opinion’ (strength of agreement in this case), proposition A. was 49th, B. 62nd and C. 46th out of a list of 67. The largest percentage of responses was in the Neutral column in every case, but where a more definite opinion is expressed there are more people Disagreeing with each of the statements than Agreeing.

Table 5 – ‘Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of these statements on Traffic’

Responses from parishioners regarding weight and quantity of traffic through village

Though we now know those Agreeing with the ‘Traffic volume is a problem’ proposition are in the minority, it is worth referring to the suggestions some of those people made for improving the situation as they saw it as there were two predominant issues amongst the 38 points registered. First, there were 12 references to over-size vehicles using Branch Road and the need to enforce weight restrictions. Second, with 6 mentions, while the need for agricultural machinery to move around a rural area is understood there is feeling that vehicles have become too big for the roads and, in particular, driving speed needs to be reduced.

Highways

The importance given by the community to matters of road usage and general highway conditions is demonstrated by the fact that from nine such topics included for ‘agreement rating’ (see below), the response to “The junction of Branch Road and the A47 is dangerous” was the second highest out of the overall 67 rankings for strength of agreement. Two other propositions were not far behind in terms of the strength of feeling attached to them – with “Some of our roads need repair / better maintenance” at No.7 and “Visibility at night is fine, we don’t need street lights” at No.14.

Percentages of those who Strongly Agree or Agree were 92%, 76% and 69% respectively for each of the three statements in the above paragraph. The full research results for these and other propositions originally raised at the Open Day are shown in Table 6 below.

 

 

 

Table 6 – ‘Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of these statements’

In the questionnaire people were invited to make suggestions on what could improve the situation where they thought there was a problem and a total of 40 comments were made. Seven of these were to do with street lighting but really only restating a ‘for’ or ‘against’ stance regarding street lighting: two taking the opportunity to emphasise the majority opinion that road lighting was not necessary, four doing the same for the minority opinion that lighting was needed and one emphasising the importance of ensuring lights at the Branch Road junction with the A47 were always working properly.

A perhaps more relevant grouping of suggestions was seven statements all relating to the junction of Branch Road / A47 and consistent in their proposal of ‘traffic control’ in the form of a roundabout or traffic lights or both to make the junction safer.

The remaining 26 comments were quite a mixed bag although two issues came more to the fore. First, properly constructed/maintained passing places on Moulton Road (six mentions) and second, wider roads, with a few people suggesting some had narrowed, with verges needing taking back to original road width (three or four mentions) – although a couple of other comments suggested the opposing view that wider roads meant faster driving!

Issues arising from ‘Roads and Traffic’

  1. Safer junction of Branch Road and A47
  2. Concerns over speeding traffic
  3. Problem of too much ‘over-sized’ traffic through parish
  4. Improved maintenance and facility of roads

  

A47 Halvergate Junction