More Common Sense Needed From Norfolk County Council-Shocker!
Despair over Diss diversion
Road users face an astonishing 55-mile round-trip if they want to get from one side of a Diss road to another over Christmas.
That is the official Norfolk County Council-recommended diversion drivers face when Victoria Road closes at 6am on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 28 while the railway bridge is replaced.
Angry business leaders and a Diss town councillor have asked why a shorter diversion could not be organised for light traffic using local services, with fears trade will be lost.
A driver arriving from the A140 Scole roundabout will be diverted via Rose Lane, Palgrave, along the A143 towards Bury St Edmunds as far as Stanton, then up the B1111 to Garboldisham, before taking the A1066 back to Diss – a journey of nearly 28 miles. The reverse route would be needed for the return journey.
Jenny Waterfield of town centre fashion accessories shop Candies said: “It is absolutely appallingly bad planning and a disaster for the town centre in what has been a very difficult year.
“People won’t travel that distance. If they could have some signage for shopping traffic that would keep people coming in to the town.”
Town councillor Glyn Walden appealed to Norfolk County Council to put in a light traffic diversion via Sawmills Road, Sandy Lane and Frenze Road.
He said: “We all know people familiar with the back roads in Diss will find their way around.
“The fact is a lot of people come to Diss along Victoria Road and park in supermarket car parks – they will find it difficult.”
Graham Steward, store manager of Wallace King Interiors, in Victoria Road, was also unhappy there would be no local signage for shoppers, with their sale starting on December 27.
“There’s a lot of money spent on advertising and I’ve doubled my staff for the day because I hope, like in previous years, it will be busy,” he said.
“If I didn’t know Diss, I wouldn’t mess about with the diversion and go straight to Norwich or Bury instead.”
Norfolk County Council spokesman John Birchall said the timing of the closure was a matter for Network Rail, but said: “We have considered a diversion for local traffic, but the only route entirely within Norfolk would be via Sawmills Road, Sandy Lane, Frenze Road (or Walcot Green, etc.).
“We have decided not to place any ‘light/low vehicles only’ signs directing to the town centre along this route because experience has shown that it would be used by the wrong sort of vehicle, with a serious risk that the roads would be blocked.”
Mr Birchall added Suffolk County Council would not agree a diversion from Palgrave to Fair Green via Denmark Hill to bring light traffic into Diss from that direction.
What do you think about the timing of the railway bridge closure and the diversion route? Write to Road Closure, Diss Express, Mere Street, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4AE, email firstname.lastname@example.org or add your comments to this story online at http://www.dissexpress.co.uk