West Winch A10 Diversion 2022/23 Consultation

There is a consultation open until Sunday 8 January at Norfolk County Council about this new road. Here are the key cycling concerns which you might like to mention:

Northern End

The new A10/A47 roundabout, east of Constitution Hill

No cycleways are proposed for the northern end of the diverted A10, nor alongside the widened bit of the A47. This is a massive missed opportunity to start shortening the cycling and walking links to Middleton and Fair Green, which are currently a U-shaped detour to West Winch shop and then through North Runcton.

It also seems contrary to Borough Planning Policy GA04 which says "Cycle and/or pedestrian paths to be provided on both sides of the relief road corridor" (not only part of the corridor) and arguably contrary to Borough Core Strategy Policy E2.1 which seeks to provide links to King's Lynn, without excluding Middleton.

Central Section: Rectory Lane

The central section is better for cycling, with a cycleway all along its east side, but it's not clear how it links to the Rectory Lane bridge and how steep the link will be. The roundabout design also looks substandard and unnecessarily hazardous for cycling at present.

Southern End: Chequers Lane and Gravelhill Roundabout

As before, there's another substandard roundabout. It also looks like this one might enable rat-running to the A47 east through Rectory Lane and New Road, unless great care is taken with the estate design.

The Chequers Lane bridge is shown with zig-zag hairpin ramps. Is that really necessary on both sides? It would make cycling journeys longer and people may be able to hide between the bends (if there are walls), so it discourages use of the route.

At the southern end of the new road, just south of Gravelhill Lane, it's not at all clear how the existing blue route cycleway will cross from the west side of the old A10 south of here to the east side of the new A10 or continue on the old A10. The existing cycleway is missing from some pictures and no crossings are shown. The new proposed cycleway appears to connect only to the existing A10.

Ideally, the new junction should be sunk down to enable a flatter bridge crossing between the three cycle routes. Make the vehicles with big motors go down and up, not the human-powered ones!

The Old A10

Traffic flows in 2018 and forecasts for opening year and 2039, without the road on the left and with it on the right
Map of forecast points

What happens to the current A10? Well, they forecast that its traffic will reduce by about 60%, but this seems incredible because they do not plan to close it to through motorists. The suggested changes are:

  • Reduction to the existing speed limit
  • Weight Restriction to prohibit Heavy Goods Vehicle through movements
  • Northbound bus lane on approach to the Hardwick Interchange
  • New signal controlled crossings for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Bus stop improvements (better waiting facilities and real time information)
  • Traffic calming
  • Gateway features (such as picket fences) at the northern and southern ends of the A10

Where have those weak measures ever delivered a 60% reduction in usage? It's really crying out for cameras to enforce a no-through-motor-vehicles restriction, maybe using congestion charge laws. Then residents and their visitors could drive in and out from either end, and buses could continue to pass through, but drivers could not use it as a rat-run if the A10/A47 junction queues back. If the cameras were placed well, it might also stop people using Rectory Lane as a rat-run as mentioned above.

There are some other fishy-looking things in the traffic forecasts. I may have misunderstood this, but of the 16'000 more vehicles using the new road in opening year (table 6, middle row right), there appear to be 15'400 more on the A47 towards Hardwick (table 5), but no more on the A47 towards Middleton (table 7), so where will the other 600 go? Are 300 vehicles making u-turns and heading back south down the new road?

Have you spotted any other strange things in them?

What Do You Think? Tell Them Now!

Please visit the consultation at https://www.pinpointcloud.co.uk/WestWinchA10/ and fill out the short feedback survey before the end of Sunday 8 January. The survey only asks about the northern and southern parts of the road, so you'll need to merge your comments on the central and southern sections into the southern question. You'll also need to shoehorn any traffic calming comments into the anything-else question, but on the other hand, it does ask what specific problems you've had with the narrow, delayed-crossing-infested Hardwick roundabout cycleway, so it's not awful.

Thank you!

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