A47 study date raises hopes for autumn cash

Traffic queues on the A47 approaching King's Lynn. Picture: Chris Bishop. Traffic queues on the A47 approaching King's Lynn. Picture: Chris Bishop.

Thursday, April 24, 2014
11:07 AM

Hopes have been raised that an announcement could be made this autumn over whether millions of pounds will be spent to improve the A47 in Norfolk.

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Campaigners have long demanded improvements to the 105-mile road and those calls have recently intensified following a number of fatal crashes along the route.

While the A47 Alliance – made up of council leaders and representatives – would ideally want investment to dual the whole trunk road, it is proposing targeted investment of £127m in 2014 to 2017, a further £247m by 2021, and £425m in the longer term (after 2021).

They launched an A47 Gateway to Growth prospectus in 2012, outlining how £500m would pay for a string of improvements to the road.

They said that would boost economic output by £390m a year, bring in millions of pounds in private investment, create thousands of new jobs and cut journey times.

The Highways Agency – which is responsible for the road – is currently working on a feasibility study to calculate if upgrading the road would be good value for money. Their study will also consider the A12 between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

The feasibility study scoping document was published yesterday, which revealed the study could be completed by autumn.

Earlier this year, prime minister David Cameron said the A47 was crucial, but would not confirm if money for its improvement would be in the autumn statement.

But campaigners hope the timetable for completion could mean an announcement on the road will be made in that statement, which is effectively a mini-budget.

David Harrison, cabinet member for environment, transport and development at Norfolk County Council and A47 Alliance chairman, said: “The timetable is rightly ambitious but we and our partners have already done considerable work looking at the benefits of dualling the road and look forward to working with the Highways Agency to highlight how improvements can be delivered, with the right investment.

“We are hopeful that the timetable will allow a positive announcement to be made in the autumn statement.”

How important is it to you that the A47 is improved and why? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

2 comments

  • All money for roads is focused on Norwich and Yarmouth areas. One day when it’s too late, Norfolk County Council will wake up and realise how heavily Norfolk’s economy relies on effective transport coming into the county from the north and west of the UK. That means their journey starts on the A47 in West Norfolk, but to reach King’s Lynn means using the ridiculous A17, A10 or A47 from Peterborough, these poor links were the cause of so many businesses drying up King’s Lynn, particularly all the high employers like the food processing industries. Yarmouth dried up as a container port because of poor east west road connection, the government plan was always to focus on the A14 as the UK’s southern east west link road, which bypasses Norfolk completely. There have already been decades of short-sightedness by the Borough and County Councils and nothing changes.

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    Honest John

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • Where's all the comments gone that were attached to this story?

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

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