Study into Norfolk A47 improvements is due to be completed by autumn

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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
5:07 PM

A long-awaited study which could pave the way for millions of pounds to be invested to improve the A47 through Norfolk is due to be completed by the autumn.

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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, but 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.

Today, the Highways Agency and the Department for Transport published its feasibility study scoping document, which revealed the work could be completed by autumn.

The study will be done in three stages. The first will gather evidence and prioritise problems. The second will identify the proposals which could tackle the problems and the third will assess how much it would cost, whether it would offer value for money and how easy it would be to make the changes.

The report says the target is to have all three stages completed by the autumn.

Simon Wright, Norwich South MP, said: “It’s clear that we need to see a series of improvements including road dualling, junction improvements and safety measures along many sections of the A47 from Great Yarmouth to the Midlands.

“We will get the best outcome for the region by taking a whole route approach. This will deliver thousands of new jobs by improving connections to the Midlands and the north.”

The Liberal Democrat MP added: “The case has been strengthened by the welcome approval of the City Deal for Greater Norwich at the end of last year.”

Councillors and MPs in Suffolk hope that, by continuing the A47 to Lowestoft, funding could help meet the costs of a new river crossing in the Suffolk seaside town.

Council bosses also say extending trunk road access from Great Yarmouth to the south shore of Lake Lothing in Lowestoft would help attract even greater benefits for the two towns - from the planned £50bn worth of investment in the southern North Sea over the next 10 years.

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.
• How important is to you that the A47 is improved and why? Tell us in the comment section below.

10 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

  • And it will all come to a grinding halt at the Vauxhall roundabout with Yarmouths, cr*p road system.

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    "V"

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • @mike smith is spot on. Anyone with any common sense knows the A47 needs dualling from Peterborough to Yarmouth, and that this divides into approx 10 bypasses which would each take about 2 years to build. The study should start with this premise and its only decision needs to be the order in which these 10 schemes are done. Instead of this, the report will no doubt recommend that further studies and reports should be carried out over the next 20 years, with a few fancy road marking schemes to be done in the meantime. What this country needs is some more decision-makers from the JFDI school of thought - actions speak louder than words!

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    Norfolk and Good

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • I was involved in a fatal accident on the a47 a few weeks ago. If the road was duelled I this accidents would not have been so severe. A police officer at the scene told me that a accident with one fatality costs around £1m. How many fatalities far there been recently and over the years!!!!

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    Neil

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • So why waste more money on a feasibility study, just ask the motorists who use this road to no where what we need.

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    loco

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • I am NOT a poor Albert ! patronising DT .I repeat more roads more cars .little people driving around in their Tin Cans with the attidude they deserve to drive where they want ,at all costs

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    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • Poor Albert. Yet to realise that the A47 already exists. Probably hasn't travelled that far from his cave.

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    DT

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • No, Albert. The aim is for the same cars on the same road, but safer. Dual carriageways and motorways are the safest road types when measuring accidents per journey mile. Anything that cuts the death and life-changing injury rates must surely be welcome.

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • More Roads !! More Cars !!

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    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • So we see yet another A47 feasibility study, there have been many over the years costing many thousands of pounds. We just hope and pray that they do not come up with any more moronic ideas like the proposed. expressway at the Honingham roundabout. The A47 has one problem that I can see, a section of dual carriageway here, then single carriageway, Just one big hotch-potch from one end to another. But will the feasibility study come up with some brilliant solution like dualling the whole A47 along the whole length, I doubt it very much. More like a few coloured road markings and slippery road signs would be the order of the days of some manic idea like another expressway similar to the one suggested at the Honingham roundabout.

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    mike smith

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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