County council relaunch campaign to get A47 dualled

Thickthorn interchange roundabout.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

As well as calling for the A47 to be dualled the county council has said Thickthorn improvements have moved too slowly - Credit: Archant

Getting to and from Norwich could get easier as the county council has relaunched a campaign to dual the A47. 

Leading councillors said the major route connecting the city to the likes of Great Yarmouth, Dereham and King's Lynn is not "fit for purpose". 

Norfolk County Council's Conservative controlled cabinet agreed on Monday to reignite the campaign to get the road fully dualled, amid frustration at the slow pace of work in getting existing improvement schemes done.

Martin Wilby, the county council's cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, said: "We know that the road has not received significant investment in the past to bring it up to a standard, meaning that it is currently unfit for purpose."

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport. Picture: Dan

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

While £300m of improvements, including changes to Thickthorn roundabout, were agreed in 2014, work has yet to start.

And, when the government announced more money for road schemes between 2020 and 2025, Norfolk missed out, to the disappointment of council leaders.

Mr Wilby told the cabinet meeting a new campaign was being launched to secure commitments to the A47 in the government's spending review - due in October.

He said businesses were recently asked what a fully-dualled A47 could do for them.

Most Read

He said 95pc said it would reduce inefficiencies and delays travelling, 90pc said it would attract more customers and 88pc said it would allow them to invest with confidence.

He said: "We are keen that government commits to further investment so that we fulfil our aspiration for full dualling, with appropriate grade separation, all along the road."

Mr Wilby said the three priorities of the A47 Alliance, of which the county council is a member, includes the dualling of the Acle Straight, dualling Tilney to East Winch and Wisbech to Peterborough.

He said that would unlock 125,000 houses and 75,000 jobs, create more than £330m uplift from new employment and £200m of benefits from enhanced productivity.

There have been numerous campaigns previously appealing to the government to invest in the road - including the EDP's Just Dual It! 

And Graham Plant, deputy leader of the county council, hit out at the amount of time it has taken National Highways (previously known as Highways England) to start work on the already funded changes.