Thickthorn roundabout revamp decision to be made within three months

Thickthorn Roundabout July 2020. Picture: Mike Page

A decision on whether the revamp of Thickthorn roundabout will go ahead will be made by September - Credit: Mike Page

A decision on whether to go ahead with a major revamp to the Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich will be made within three months.

A planning inspector has informed the government of his recommendation over the multi-million scheme, following a string of hearings.

The final decision on whether to grant consent rests with transport secretary Grant Shapps.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaks to the media about the UK's transport sanctions against Russ

Transport secretary Grant Shapps - Credit: PA

He now has until September 12 to decide whether he agrees with the recommendation of inspector Matthew Shrigley.

The plans include a new slip road off the A11 northbound, which will take motorists beneath both roads before rejoining traffic on the A47 heading towards Great Yarmouth - eliminating the need to use the roundabout.

Plan showing Thickthorn Roundabout changes

The plans for the changes at Thickthorn Roundabout. - Credit: Highways England

The changes would also see a segregated left-hand turn added to those travelling eastbound on the A47, a new footbridge and a fourth lane on the southern part of the junction.

The application, by National Highways, has been discussed at a number of public hearings - one of which ended after just 15 minutes because nobody turned up to raise any points.

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Whether or not Mr Shrigley has recommended the scheme should go ahead or not will not be known until the decision of Mr Shapps is published.

Mr Shapps could decide to go with the recommendation, but he is able to overrule the inspector - as happened in the case of the previously mooted revamp of Anglia Square in Norwich.

If it does gets the go-ahead, National Highways has said work would start in 2023 and be finished in 2024.

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

The Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich. Pic: Highways England. - Credit: Highways England

Two other A47 schemes are ahead of Thickthorn in the process of securing consent.

The transport secretary's decision over the dualling of 1.6 miles of the road between Blofield and North Burlingham is expected this week.

And he must make a decision over dualling of five-and-a-half miles of road between Easton and North Tuddenham by August 12.

Then prime minister David Cameron announced £300m would be spent on the A47 back in 2014.

Prime Minister David Cameron, leaves Downing Street ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the

Former prime minister David Cameron announced £300m would be spent on the A47 back in 2014 - Credit: PA

Norfolk County Council leaders have previously criticised the rate of progress in getting to the point where work can start.