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Posted By Discussion Topic: Acle Straight

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Karen&Mike
Dec-29-2021 @ 2:33 PM                           Permalink
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Karen&Mike
          

Sadly, often innocent people are injured, or worse, by the actions of other road users.

This then begs the question that if a road can be made safer - for instance in this case the possibility of dualling a very very long straight single carriageway to provide opportunity for overtaking - then it should be considered. For ALL road users, not just those who cause accidents.

Any upgrade to a road should never be dismissed on the single basis that accidents are purely the result of poor driving skills, with the therefore added inference that those who suffer may deserve it. It is naive to think that accidents can only be avoided through the perfection of driving skills. Those behind the wheel are not robots, and certain aspects of roads and layouts etc are known to contribute to the risk of an accident. I spent years in the insurance industry as a motor claims accident investigator and resultant injury claims handler. I've seen plenty of misery caused by the actions of others, and read many police reports about the contributing factors including reference to road layout etc.

I have no idea what the circumstances where in this particular accident and I have no knowledge of what may or may not be relevant to the expansion of the Acle straight into a dual carriageway. However, I've driven along it many times, and often see poor and dangerous overtaking. Dual carriageway would now doubt reduce the danger to other road users and provide safe opportunities for those who wish (or need !) to pass other vehicles.

Karen

"Wind up the elastic band Karen - we're setting off!!"

Dykedweller
Dec-29-2021 @ 3:03 PM                           Permalink
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Karen
I don’t disagree with anything you say about possible improvements to road safety as far as the Acle straight is concerned but unfortunately it will never happen, and that information comes from MP’s themselves. There are many problems with this particular stretch of road, one being how do you build a dual carriageway road and still give safe access to dozens of individual marsh gateways on either side of it?
Personally I consider that road safety could be improved very cheaply by painting double white lines on the total 8 mile length and making a mandatory speed limit of 50 mph. This could be easily enforced by installing an average speed camera at each end (there is only one junction in the 8 mile length) and a computer programmed to send out automatic fixed penalty notices to all transgressors who complete the journey too quickly.

Greybeard
Dec-29-2021 @ 3:21 PM                           Permalink
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remember this tragic event??
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1mPf46RNL4

road width or number of lanes was not included in the list of possible causes as I recall.

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

the post above is a simple and effective answer,as Dykedweller said, but
would everyone adhere to it. I doubt it.

or this one,
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-23970047

thick fog was there for all to see, however witnesses stated many were driving too fast, some without lights.

This message was edited by Greybeard on Dec-29-21 @ 3:32 PM

steve
Dec-29-2021 @ 7:50 PM                           Permalink
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" There are many problems with this particular stretch of road, one being how do you build a dual carriageway road and still give safe access to dozens of individual marsh gateways on either side of it?" When we had a daul carriage way built not far from us on dartford marshes ,the carriage way went through farm fields  / grazing marshes , a tunnel was constructed to help cattle etc to get from one field to the next , as per the picture attached,  also further along any turns were made into left turns only ,so have to go up to the next roundabout to come back on yourself if wanting to the other way ,

steve and vicky
( apparently a moaner)


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Greybeard
Dec-29-2021 @ 10:07 PM                           Permalink
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I wonder if that has been previously considered, and how the water table might affect it?

I wonder how long cattle can hold their breath.  Wink

it's not beyond reason to refrain from overtaking for a mere 9 miles surely?
especially considering the often fatal results.

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

This message was edited by Greybeard on Dec-29-21 @ 10:10 PM

RedCow
Dec-29-2021 @ 10:55 PM                           Permalink
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I totally agree with Dykedweller,it’s a quick,reasonably cheap and uncomplicated fix.and if implemented could start reducing incidents in a relatively short time.It won’t prevent the death wish drivers that you get on all of our roads,but if introduced I believe would have a marked impact on road traffic incidents.


L'sBelles
Dec-29-2021 @ 11:13 PM                           Permalink
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I'm familiar with the Dartford road having lived there for 26 years both before an after that road was built. The main difference is that they have installed many roundabouts at frequent intervals no doubt with the intention of adding more housing or industry at some point. I suspect that the marshland between Acle and Yarmouth is more "marshy" for want of a better term and shall not support housing estates or industrial estates. Roundabouts at regular intervals would need to be installed purely to allow traffic to reverse direction. In theory that should also act as speed regulation but then how many prangs would result from u-turns at a roundabout where the other driver did not expect to have to give way?
Personally, I believe that the idea of difficulty in providing access to the fields is simply spin. They know how complex and therefore expensive construction of a second carriageway shall be and would rather kick it into touch than invest in infrastructure that should have been simultaneous with the new harbour construction. Instead Highways can spend considerably less money on the Burlingham Bottleneck and still pat themselves on the back for improving the A47.

JollyRodger
Dec-29-2021 @ 12:36 AM                           Permalink
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As one who actually uses the Acle Straight, I suppose, does give me a degree of insight!

I'll start off by not telling you the tired joke of only needing a dual carriageway for people fleeing Gt Yarmouth, for those going there a single carriageway is more than ample!

Like at least one other I am of the opinion that a dualled Acle Straight will not be built any time soon. The sheer cost of building a modern road across very wet wetland will be near enough to rebuild Gt Yarmouth on higher ground. Okay, so I exaggerate . . . . .

The issue of access to grazing rights is very real, slow-moving agricultural traffic or livestock having to cross a dual carriageway is a problem that can't easily be ignored.  

Then, of course, there is the small issue of appeasing the fearsome 'save the marsh marigold' activists, I kid you not.  
  

Jolly Roger

Helmsman1946
Dec-30-2021 @ 9:14 AM                           Permalink
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As I live within 4 miles of the said road albeit for only 5 years I think it fair to add my comments. 1,Grazing is in the main horses & a few sheep, the few cattle don't cross twice a day for milking indeed there are roadside pens & laybys on many fields for rounding up & removal, 2 Whilst there are a number of turnings none other than the Halvergate turn at Stracy Arms produce much traffic - the largest regular users are probably Network Rail staff accessing the adjacent rail line and access to a few farms.3 There was a suggestion of minor improvements at Stracy but suspect this has slipped.4 There are improvements for the A47 Yarmouth Vauxhall Roundabout in the pipeline after re-modelling to take the new Yarmouth South access bridge under construction into consideration however this still does not appear to have found a solution to pulling traffic off the Acle Straight any better hence duelling will just lead to a longer tailback at GY. 6 Speed - In my view the biggest problem. Lorries buses & the very occasional tractor each lead to a 50mph cluster which annoys some drivers & there are a significant number of cars that rarely go above 50mph possibly from fear of the roads reputation & in my experience is what produces the most outrageous attempts at overtaking. Would a 50pmh limit work I doubt it for impatient drivers or someone running late. Minimum speed limit - rarely used & I suspect some would not even go at 50 so same problem.( If I were that afraid of the road I would simply avoid it - going via Filby is not that much longer in the scheme of things) Prospect for duelling as has been said zero the cost of bringing in material to get above the flood zone would be prohibitive - just look at the height of the 150 year old railway to see that & who knows how deep piles would need to go were that option be chosen, other option a tunnel all the way - well end of story we are not HS2. Only option really more double white lines but not totally convinced (yet)

L'sBelles
Dec-30-2021 @ 3:12 PM                           Permalink
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As Dykedweller wrote "road safety could be improved very cheaply by painting double white lines on the total 8 mile length and making a mandatory speed limit of 50 mph. This could be easily enforced by installing an average speed camera at each end (there is only one junction in the 8 mile length) and a computer programmed to send out automatic fixed penalty notices to all transgressors who complete the journey too quickly."

I agree this might be worth a try but I am not sure what the cost of average speed cameras and associated equipment would be. Probably considerably higher than any of us would estimate since it would need to be a Home Office approved system with regular maintenance and calibration to provide suitable evidence for prosecution of offenders.
However, they have been in use for years on the A149 from Potter Heigham to Cats Common and it would be interesting to see what effect they have had on road safety there especially since they really do get plenty of slow moving agricultural traffic along that stretch of road.
Some say that most of those cameras are inoperative for a lot of the time but at least the visual deterrent is there whether the cameras are recording or not!

Cocklegat
Dec-30-2021 @ 3:47 PM                           Permalink
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Without doubt this is a dangerous road!  It's also a road that has probably seen more consultations and campaigns (For & Against) to dual it than any other in Norfolk, These go back to a time just after the Second World War!
Having known it myself for over 60 years and having seen accidents occurring and been in an accident on this road and having previously lived in Great Yarmouth, it is something that interests me greatly.  Originally built as a Toll road, as an alternative to the original 'old road' which goes through Mautby, Runham & Stokesby, this is a much more direct route.
One of the main problems today is that it still sits between the two ditches originally designed for the road back in the 1830's this means that any improvements are constrained by the existing width unless large scale engineering work is carried out.  In the past this has seen environmental lobbying prove successful in overturning plans, saying the cost doesn't justify environmental impact.  This has been a constant area of dispute and a particularly bitter one for the people who live in Great Yarmouth.  Having seen the large scale engineering during the building of soak dykes along the lower Bure, close to the road during the flood alleviation scheme, I can see no reason on environmental grounds why a dual carriage way could not be built while at the same time improving wildlife.  Yet it will always come down to cost.
Being level and straight the road can often be deceptive when viewing the distance of oncoming traffic (a cause of many accidents) There are no crash barriers and a car coming off the road will inevitably fall into the ditches, which are much larger than you realise (More the one person has drowned in cars in the ditch. Every time we have another serious accident like the one mentioned I feel very sad that the road has never been properly re-engineered after all the many millions of £'s spent on the many consultations.

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