Multi-million pound Thickthorn roundabout revamp hearings to begin

Thickthorn Roundabout July 2020. Picture: Mike Page

Thickthorn roundabout. - Credit: Mike Page

Hearings which will help decide if a multi-million pound revamp of one of Norfolk's busiest junctions goes ahead will take place this week.

Proposals for changes at Thickthorn Interchange, where the A47 and A11 meet on the edge of Norwich, were lodged by Highways England at the end of March.

Plan showing Thickthorn Roundabout changes

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

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.

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 Planning Inspectorate will consider whether to grant permission. and will hold virtual public hearings to consider the issues from tomorrow (Tuesday, November 16).

Thickthorn Roundabout

Thickthorn roundabout. - Credit: Highways England

The need for the compulsory purchase of land to allow the scheme to go ahead will be discussed.

Other issues likely to come under the spotlight include the loss of trees, the need to move water voles and the impact on bats.

Woodland conservation charity the Woodland Trust has objected to the loss of veteran oak trees.

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Norfolk County Council will also raise issues about the classification of mooted new link from Cantley Lane South to the B1172, via a bridge over the A11.

The county council would be handed responsibility for the upkeep of that road and officers fear making it a B-road would encourage more traffic to use it, so want it as a C or unclassified road.

Grant Shapps, Conservative Party Chairman visits the Conservative Club in Gorleston.
Conservative c

Transport secretary Grant Shapps. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Following the hearings, the Planning Inspectorate will make a recommendation to transport secretary Grant Shapps, who gets the final say on whether the scheme should get a development consent order.

If it gets the go-ahead, work would start in 2023 and be finished in 2024.

Similar hearings have recently been held over the dualling of sections of the A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton and from Blofield to North Burlingham.

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