Minister makes new hint over money for A47

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A senior Cabinet minister has given the strongest indication yet that the main route linking Lynn with Peterborough and Norwich is in line to receive substantial government investment.

Politicians and business leaders have long campaigned for the A47 to be dualled along its entire length through Norfolk and Cambridgeshire in order to generate economic growth in the region.

Now, the chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has named the road as one of three priority routes for investment, which is expected to be announced in the autumn statement by chancellor George Osborne next month.

Mr Alexander told The House magazine: “The Chancellor has been talking about the ‘northern powerhouse’ and all that. I want to do something similar for some other parts of the country.

“There are six routes which we identified as ones that are of major strategic importance to the country. The A303 is one, the A1 north of Newcastle is another, the A47 is a third.”

He said full detail of the government’s plans would be given in Mr Osborne’s statement on December 3, adding: “We want to fill in some of those gaps, give some more detail, not just objectives but detailed plans for what we can do.”

Although it is thought to be unlikely that schemes in West Norfolk will benefit from the initial investment, following talks with Department for Transport officials in the summer, most borough representatives have said that any cash for the A47 will be good news for the area.