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Bill to build bypass demanded for decades could top £37m

PUBLISHED: 14:08 05 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:58 05 October 2020

The Long Stratton bypass has moved a step nearer. Pic: Sonya Duncan

The Long Stratton bypass has moved a step nearer. Pic: Sonya Duncan

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The bill for a bypass people have demanded for decades could top £37m, it has been revealed, as final touches are made to the business case for the road.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport. Picture: Simon ParkinMartin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport. Picture: Simon Parkin

People in Long Stratton have long been calling for a bypass, so that traffic using the A140 does not go straight through the town.

Last year, the Department for Transport made £500,000 available to work up the business case for the bypass, and officers at Norfolk County Council estimate the overall cost of the bypass would be £37.44m.

That is considerably more than the £29m figure which had been used last year - but the council said last year’s figure had not included provision for fees or inflation or a revised allowance for risk.

The project would be mainly externally funded with 70pc from the government’s Major Road Network Fund and 30pc from local contributions, made up primarily of developer contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy contributions.

Flashback to 2002: Theresa May, then shadow secretary of state for transport being is shown proposed Long Stratton bypass plans. Pic: James BassFlashback to 2002: Theresa May, then shadow secretary of state for transport being is shown proposed Long Stratton bypass plans. Pic: James Bass

The business case, due to be submitted next month, aims to show the government the bypass is worth investing in.

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At a meeting of the county council’s Conservative-controlled cabinet on Monday, councillors agreed to delegate the approval of the business case to Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways and transport.

They also agreed to set up a steering group of councillors to keep tabs on the project.

Mr Wilby said: “This is really good news. The Long Stratton Bypass has been a priority for this council and it’s getting closer.”

The new bypass, to the east of the town, would be a single carriageway road, extending from the existing junction between the A140 and Church Lane to the north.

It would head south for just under two miles and then rejoin the existing A140, just south of Oakside Farm.

The council, which says the bypass would create 625 jobs and 1,800 new homes, hopes to lodge an updated planning application for the road by the middle of next year.

The target date for work to start on building it is mid-2023, with the road open to traffic before the end of 2024.

Alison Thomas, county councillor for Long Stratton, said: “I am very grateful for the continued push to deliver the much needed bypass to improve the lives of local residents.”


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