Hall Lane Speed Limit Extension

The Site
Hall Lane runs from the junction with Knapton Road (click here to read about our proposed changes to this junction), through our Village, past the Butterfly Walk car park and the main entrance to Pigney Woods on it’s way to North Walsham.   It is narrow and twisty with two 90˚ bends as it climbs up to the village and the hedges and verges make sight of on-coming traffic impossible alone most of it’s length, no matter which direction you are travelling.   Knapton is a farming community, so heavy tractors, combines and all the associated trailers etc typically travel on our roads daily.

The Problem
The number of instances of vehicles in general, but Vans and HGVs in particular, travelling between Mundesley and North Walsham and using Hall Lane as a proverbial “Rat Run” has increased steadily over the last few years.   Coincidently, the number of accidents, close shaves and near misses have increased proportionally as vehicles can legally travel on a narrow, bendy road at up to 60mph… only to meet another, often bigger vehicle coming towards them at the same speed or more as they round the next bend.

Heading towards Knapton from North Walsham, Hall Lane enters the outskirts of our village just after the car park for the Butterfly Walk.  From this point, properties sit almost on the road, their driveways virtually concealed entrances as the road twists and turns.   There are no pavements or footpaths for our elderly residents and young school children to use to escape traffic which can legally travel at 60mph… just grass verges and hedges.

I have personally witnessed a resident having to quickly step into a hedge to avoid being hit by one of two large vehicles that were trying to pass each other at speed (albeit with their brake lights on) on a narrow bend.    Neither of them could have known what was coming towards them, they just rolled the dice.

Peter Neatherway
Chairman of Knapton Parish Council

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Our Aim
Our aim is to get the 30mph speed limit extended from opposite MADRA, where it is now, to the Butterfly Walk car park, in order to dramatically reduce the number of incidents caused by drivers reacting at the last minute and the consequent risk to our residents.

a thought…
The main road between Coggeshall to Norwich has a lower speed limit than Hall Lane, is around twice the width, has no 90˚bends and no hedges or verges to obscure drivers vision.   And much of it has a pavement.

Our progress

On 23rd October, following our meeting with the Police & Highways, our Road Safety committee received an email;

Further to our meeting I arranged for a colleague who specialises in traffic management to take a look at the areas we discussed.

Hall Road speed limit extension – he agreed this was feasible to just before where the footway crosses (as you requested).  Estimate for this is £6.5 -£7k

Steve White
Highway Engineer
Norfolk County Council

We are now confident that we can achieve this and are going through the formalities necessary for the process to run it’s course.