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Business bosses say A47 full dualling is essential for Norfolk's economy

PUBLISHED: 06:45 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:12 22 March 2018

Richard Goffin, director of Peel Ports Great Yarmouth. 

Picture: James Bass.

Richard Goffin, director of Peel Ports Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass.

Archant Norfolk © 2016

The current state of the A47 is holding back the growth of Norfolk's economy, according to business bosses who want to see the road fully dualled.

Graphic: Norfolk County Council.Graphic: Norfolk County Council.

This week saw the launch of the ‘Just Dual It!’ campaign, spearheaded by the Eastern Daily Press, Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

The aim of the campaign is to put pressure on the government to commit to further improvements to a key road for Norfolk, which stretches from Peterborough to Lowestoft, on top of the £300m which has been earmarked.

The campaign has been backed by businesses, who say full dualling of the A47 is essential if the region’s potential is to be fulfilled. Chris Sargisson, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “Historically, Norfolk’s infrastructure has lagged behind the rest of the 
UK and the county as a whole needs to come together to give voice to our infrastructure needs. It is already evident that poor infrastructure is restricting business growth in Norfolk.”

Poor infrastructure was a factor in Britvic leaving Norwich, which, in turn led to Unilever’s decision to move production of Colman’s Mustard to Burton and Germany.

Graphic: Norfolk County Council.Graphic: Norfolk County Council.

And haulage companies say poor journey reliability along the road can have a negative impact on their business. Peter Brown, managing director of Fakenham-based Jack Richards & Son, said: “At present the A47 creates a bottleneck out of Norfolk towards our markets in the Midlands and the North, adding significant costs for manufacturing companies based in our county.

“We urgently need investment to relieve this restriction and give Norfolk businesses the opportunity to flourish.”

And bosses at Great Yarmouth’s port are keen to see better connections, with the dualling of the A47 Acle Straight seen as crucial to unlock the town’s potential. Richard Goffin, port director at Peel Ports in Great Yarmouth, said: “Investment in improved transport infrastructure is an essential step to unlocking Great Yarmouth’s true potential.

“The ability to attract opportunities will not only benefit existing business, but also the communities we serve today and the future prosperity we can deliver tomorrow.”

Peter Brown, managing director at Jack Richards & Sons in Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher.Peter Brown, managing director at Jack Richards & Sons in Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Boost for tourism

The full dualling of the A47 would bring a “significant boost” when it comes to attracting more visitors to discover the merits of Norfolk, tourism bosses say.

The county has long had to fight the perception that it is difficult to get to and dualling the A47 would help further, says Pete Waters, of Visit Norfolk.

The A47 at East Winch. Picture: Ian BurtThe A47 at East Winch. Picture: Ian Burt

He said: “The dualling of the A47 will have a significant benefit to the visitor economy, giving easier access to much of the county, particularly to our most popular destination Great Yarmouth.

“We saw what the final dualling of the A11 at Elveden meant to us: not just easier access to the county from Greater London and the Midlands, but more importantly changing the

perception that we’re difficult get to.

“As our second major arterial route, bringing visitors from the north, dualling the A47 will significantly boost our £3.15bn sector and help grow jobs and wealth.”

Chris Sargisson, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. Pic: Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.Chris Sargisson, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. Pic: Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

How to get involved

Buy a copy of the Eastern Daily Press on Friday. Inside will be a Just Dual It! Freepost postcard for you to send your own message to the government about why you think the A47 needs to be fully-dualled as soon as possible

Pick up a Just Dual It! postcard from Friday from: our offices in Rouen Road; County Hall in Martineau Lane; Norfolk Chamber of Commerce in Whiting Road, Norwich; Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s Town Hall or West Norfolk Council’s offices in King’s Lynn. Those postcards would not be Freepost and would need a stamp.

Tweet your support for the campaign using the hashtag #justdualit. If you include your full name and location in the tweet, we will transfer your message onto a postcard for you.

Write, outlining your experiences of using the A47 to EDP Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPletters@archant.co.uk

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