There is no doubt that Forncett has had more than its share of road works, closures and diversions lately: the good news is that we are past the worst. The work at Forncett End around Valiant Corner (top of Tabernacle Lane) has left us with a lovely new pavement / footpath / causeway, and improved drainage for that part of the village - that’s the good news: there remains however all the mess and broken down verges and ditches on either side of Tabernacle Lane which were in a bad enough state before the work started now that farmers don’t bother to maintain them. Closing Tabernacle Lane off at the top diverted traffic down the lane at the start of their journeys: and back again, of course. I can see from where I sit typing, and I can tell you that not everyone was patient and well-mannered about reversing back and / or getting out of the way where possible. The problem with these narrow lanes is that there is nowhere to get out of the way. So they use our driveways and trash them; and they drive up the verges and trash them too.
As to the improved drainage at the top of the road, only time will tell if Tabernacle Lane continues to turn into a river (with added raw sewage) every time we have a flash flood.
The diversion for the gas-pipe works taking gas to Tivetshall Maltings also caused a great deal of damage when the Long Stratton Road was closed off near to ‘Ponderosa Corner’ (top of Mill Lane). Vehicles coming up Mill Lane had very little warning of the closure and were reduced to backing up, and diverting down yet another narrow lane, Gilderswood Lane. All the residents there suffered from this and again the verges are trashed.
Here are extracts from some emails I received; firstly Terry Henderson :
Since these works started there has been no notification to the five households that were affected by traffic taking an alternative route avoiding the works. This has seen a massive increase of all traffic, which included a 10 wheel articulated lorry taking the acute turning from Gilderswood Lane into Grove Lane; that really was a silly move. The signage was totally ineffective; the increase in traffic in both directions, lead to traffic jams at the junction of Gilderswood and Grove! A spokesman from NCC turned up on Wednesday at the request of a resident. When visiting my property he managed to park his car right in the middle of the spring bulbs that were just showing through the grass. When shown the destruction caused by the diverted traffic his comment was 'Well, It is winter'!!! Finally, a big thank you to the person who drove over our outside house nameplate and broke it into two pieces!! Well done you! Terry Henderson
Also this from Betty Prior:
As a resident of Gilderswood, I cannot let this edition of the Forncett Flyer go to print without commenting on the fiasco currently underway on Gilderswood Lane and Grove Lane. Where was the notification of these works to the Council or residents? Why are scores of vehicles travelling both ways down two single track roads, neither of which have passing places? Where are the traffic lights or a one way system? Who is going to clear up the mess and re-instate the verges? (I don't mean two blokes with a shovel either!) Are Highways aware that people walk on country roads, especially this one?
I will not comment further, as I have already made my views clear to Highways, after I had great difficulty in getting home at all. Our Parish Council Chairman has made every conceivable effort to help, including personally helping to push a stranded car back out of a field!! And, I was very sorry, but not surprised, to hear about the car which was actually damaged by a passing vehicle. The Highways department certainly has a lot of questions to answer.
And the damaged car from Helen Carlile :
My friend Dawn was trying to navigate the road closure in Forncett yesterday and was driving through Grove Lane when she pulled over for an oncoming small white van towing a trailer. As it passed the van then scraped down the side of Dawn's blue Renault Clio (causing significant damage) and drove away. A lady behind the van (in a silver or grey car, possibly with children in the back) offered to follow it to see if she could get the number plate but so far nothing has been reported. It all happened in such a hurry, and obviously Dawn was very shocked, so she doesn't have much detail, but if anyone reading knows who this Good Samaritan was or even possibly the van driver (now probably with a dark blue ‘go-faster’ stripe) please could they get in touch on phone no 07554 998692.
As to the future; the gas main will be going down Overwood Lane and this will be closed for a while. This diversion will be easy - just go down Mill Road instead then along Aslacton Road (past the school, so please take great care!). Once the gas pipe reaches Moulton Bridge it will be out of our village, probably still causing disruption, but that will be someone else’s problem.
it’s free and you can come off at any time.
Su Leavesley [Ed]