No A47 work until September, Highways England says despite July public notice warning

The hot weather at the weekend brought out the motorists heading for many holiday destinations in this area, these pictures, taken around lunchtime on Saturday 23rd July, of traffic queues on the A47 Southern By pass heading towards the Hardwick junction.
The hot weather at the weekend brought out the motorists heading for many holiday destinations in this area, these pictures, taken around lunchtime on Saturday 23rd July, of traffic queues on the A47 Southern By pass heading towards the Hardwick junction.
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Maintenance works on the A47 in West Norfolk will not start until this autumn, despite notices suggesting it could begin next month, officials have insisted.

Highways England has faced fierce criticism following last week’s release of a public notice outlining a nine-monthprogramme of works between Lynn and Peterborough.

And community leaders say the agency should have been clearer from the start about their plans for the route.

The notice suggested the work would start “on or after July 3”, sparking fears of major traffic disruption during the summer holidays.

But the authority now says drivers should not see their journeys disrupted during the main tourism season.

The agency said in a statement: “We want to reassure people that the project in the Saddlebow and the Kings Lynn area is still in its early stage.

“Although the Temporary Traffic Regulation Order comes into effect on July 3, this refers to early technical ground work and should not affect road users.

“The actual scheme is not planned to start until September, as we wanted to avoid the peak season.

“We are working with Norfolk County Council and other stakeholders on putting a programme of work together, and we will communicate these plans very soon.”

However, some councillors in the Lynn area are still not happy with the agency’s handling of the scheme.

St Margarets and St Nicholas ward member Lesley Bambridge said councillors should be told of work plans, so they could answer questions put to them by residents.

She said: “It’s a pity they haven’t made their plans clear this time. September is still a busy month with events like Heritage Open Day.”

Charles Joyce, who represents the South and West Lynn ward, claimed utilities and emergency service bosses had initially not been made aware of the programme.

He also called for a gritting programme to be put in place to ensure routes, including minor roads that are likely to be used as alternatives, are safe for use during periods of work this winter.

He added: “As far as South Lynn is concerned there will inevitably be problems with potentially very long queues on Wisbech Road and Saddlebow Road when the A47 or Interchange is closed.

“It is important that the weight restrictions on Wisbech Road remain in place at all times.”