Call to keep fighting for A47 investment

Residents need to help make the case for more investment in the A47, local politicians say
Residents need to help make the case for more investment in the A47, local politicians say

People in West Norfolk are being urged to help make the case for more investment in improvements to the A47 when transport officials visit the borough next week.

Highways England staff are holding a series of roadshows across the county to set out plans for forthcoming roadworks along the route.

The first of them will take place in Lynn on Monday and is being seen as a crucial opportunity to show how important an improved A47 is to the area.

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said: “It’s very important that the pressure is kept up. We’ve got to all work together on this.

“Our vision is very simple. We want a fully dualled A47 from the A1 (near Peterborough) to Yarmouth and we won’t relent until that has been achieved.”

A £300 million funding programme was been committed to improving six specific sections of the A47 almost three years ago.

But none of the schemes that will receive any of the cash are in West Norfolk and work on them is not expected to start for at least another two years.

However, the A47 Alliance, an umbrella group of councils and business organisations in the region, has already identified a number of priority areas for future work to improve the route.

Among them is the stretch from Tilney All Saints to East Winch, including the Hardwick interchange.

Improving the sections from East Winch to Swaffham and from Swaffham to Dereham, either side of the existing dual carriageway stretch around Swaffham, is seen as a longer-term aspiration along the route to full dualling.

Martin Wilby, who chairs the alliance and Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “These roadshows are a golden opportunity to show Highways England how strongly many of us feel about the need to make the A47 a better, safer, more reliable route.

“It’s important to keep reminding them and the government of the local demand for improvements so that work gets under way at the earliest opportunity.

“We also need them to see the value in making much needed further improvements to the road, with the ultimate aim of getting the whole of the A47 route dualled.”

Monday’s event, which follows a similar session held in Dereham last month, will take place outside the Duke’s Head Hotel, between 11am and 6pm.

Further sessions are scheduled for next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Attleborough, Yarmouth and Gorleston respectively.