By Cllr Greg Peck
Those of you that travel on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) or, as we should now refer to it, Broadland Northway, will have hopefully noticed that Reepham is now on the map.
I managed to persuade Highways to replace the “Local Traffic” sign on the splitter island at the Reepham Road roundabout with a sign that says “Reepham”.
I apologise to all residents, and in particular those who tirelessly lobbied me to fix it, that it took so long. However, we got there in the end (which is probably the same remark uttered by those drivers not local to the area who eventually found Reepham after following the old signs).
Highways issues are becoming a subject on which I am getting an increasing number of requests to resolve: during August I had meetings with several residents in different parts of Reepham on the subject of parking.
Finding a solution to parking problems is often difficult. If you put in restrictions you tend to just move the problem to another part of the town.
In such cases I think the best approach is to involve the Highways officer and the Police, along with myself, in a meeting with concerned residents to discuss the alternatives and try and find a solution.
Beat Officer PC Colin Bailey and Highways engineer Chris Mayes are very accommodating and we have hopefully managed to mitigate the concerns of at least one group of residents.
However, parking will always be a problem and I know the Town Council and Broadland District Council are working to find solutions for the town.
As I reported previously, two Broadland officers, supported by the Town Team members, have toured the town looking for possible solutions. We should soon receive feedback on the findings.
In addition to parking I have ongoing issues with heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) driving through the narrow streets of many rural Norfolk villages; in my division these issues are particularly problematic in Foulsham and Cawston, where the size of the vehicles seems to increase every year.
Again, the solutions are not simple. I will always initially try to get a weight restriction, but often Highways will not allow it because it can restrict trade by preventing businesses, hauliers and farmers moving their goods. This is especially so if a neighbouring village has got in first with a weight restriction.
In other villages, such as Themelthorpe, the problem is more with speeding cars. There is something we can do to mitigate this and, together with the Highways Department, there are ongoing discussions with the village committee about ways this could be done.
However, I am still of the opinion that we need a county-wide solution by introducing recommended HGV routes around the whole county to take the pressure off our villages.
Hopefully, once the Western Link of the NDR is completed, that should ease the problem somewhat, as large HGVs should have less need to drive cross-country and through villages.
Cllr Greg Peck, Norfolk County Council, Reepham Division
Tel: 07972 230282