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Thickthorn revamp: YOU can choose how long roadworks will last

PUBLISHED: 16:28 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:28 04 June 2019

The Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich. Picture: Highways England.

The Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich. Picture: Highways England.

Highways England

People are being given a say in how long construction work should last during part of the planned multi-million pound revamp of the Thickthorn roundabout.

For the first time in a public consultation process Highways England has included options for people to state their preferred timescale and its likely knock-on effects on disruption.

Highways England announced plans for upgrading the busy interchange two years ago, as part of a £300m series of upgrades along the A47 corridor. They have now tweaked their designs for a final stint of consultation before plans are lodged.

The £50m project includes two new link roads; one connecting the A47 westbound to the southbound A11, the other would see drivers heading from the northbound A11 to the eastbound A47 avoiding having to use the roundabout.

The plans for the Thickthorn junction. Picture: Highways England.The plans for the Thickthorn junction. Picture: Highways England.

It would involve building three new underpasses and the new public consultation, which runs until July 11, includes three different timescales for the work.

One option is for 18 to 24 months of roadworks on the A47 and A11 with a series of diversions. A second is for the partial closure in one direction at a time to allow construction to be finished quicker. The third is for the full closure of the A47 and A11, not simultaneously, to allow construction over an even shorter timeframe.

Peter Havlicek, Highways England programme lead for the A47, said it was the first time such a question had been asked and was part of a commitment to listen to road users and local people.

Team behind Thickthorn project: Claudia Wegener, Highways England senior project manager; Vanessa Screen, Highways England assistant project manager; Peter Havlicek, Highways England project leader for the A47 corridor;  Joe Goldie, project director with Galliford Try; Barrie Arthur, project manager with Sweco; Claire Anderson, project design director at Sweco. Picture: Simon ParkinTeam behind Thickthorn project: Claudia Wegener, Highways England senior project manager; Vanessa Screen, Highways England assistant project manager; Peter Havlicek, Highways England project leader for the A47 corridor; Joe Goldie, project director with Galliford Try; Barrie Arthur, project manager with Sweco; Claire Anderson, project design director at Sweco. Picture: Simon Parkin

The previous consultation had seen fears raised about potential rat-running in Cantley Lane South. The revised plans would see the junctions from Cantley Lane to the A11 and A47 closed, with a new link road connecting Cantley Lane South to the B1172 Norwich Road via two bridges.

New plans for multi-million pound revamp of Thickthorn roundabout revealed

Other changes would see a fourth lane on the roundabout, traffic signals at the junction with the B1172 and a new footbridge over the A47.

Mr Havlicek said: "185 people gave us feedback, 250 people turned up at the events, and there was a lot of feedback especially on Cantley Lane solution. We believe that we have improved the links and the accessibility of Cantley Lane in accordance with the feedback that we received."

Plans are being worked on to minimise roads being used as rat-runs during the construction period.

"Having a contractor on board so early in the design stage means we can now look at the buildability to make sure we do what we can to minimise disruption," Mr Havlicek said.

"Looking to make sure that vehicles aren't finding alternatives ways is something that we will be closely examining."

The Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich. Picture: Highways England.The Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich. Picture: Highways England.

Depending on the planning process, work could start in 2021. Highways England say the changes would improve journey times by up to six minutes for the 53,000 drivers who use the roundabout daily and make the junction safer.

How to have your say

People can take part in the consultation at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/A47Thickthorn, by writing to Freepost A47 Thickthorn Junction, or by completing one of the forms available at the public events and collection points.

There will be four public exhibitions:


- Hethersett Village Hall, Back Lane, Hethersett on Monday, June 10, from 1pm to 8pm;

- Ketteringham Village Hall, High Street, Ketteringham on Thursday, June 13, from 1pm to 8pm;

- The Willow Centre, 1 - 13 Willowcroft Way, Cringleford on Friday, June 14, from 1pm to 8pm;

- 47 Giles Street, Norwich on Saturday, June 15, from 11am to 5pm.

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