West Norfolk misses out on A47 upgrade cash wishlist

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West Norfolk looks set to miss out after the borough was left off a wishlist of short-term upgrades to the A47.

Improvements to the Hardwick, Saddlebow and Pullover roundabouts were identified as a short-term priority, meaning work should be done by 2021 at the latest, in a list of schemes identified by the A47 Alliance earlier this year.

But, following a meeting in Norwich on Wednesday, the scheme has not been included in the list of upgrades which is now set to compete for government funding later this year.

Toby Coke, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, funding and transport committee, admitted it was “disappointing”, but insisted that Norfolk as a whole was on course to receive more funding, a potential of as much as £500 million, than had previously been expected.

He said: “There is quite a lot to be pleased about.”

North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said he was disappointed at the lack of funding for West Norfolk, but added: “Any improvements to the whole length of the road is going to help.”

He pledged to continue to push for improvements around Lynn, Middleton and East Winch, the latter two of which are included on a longer-term list of improvement projects.

The meeting formed part of work on feasability studies into upgrading the road, which is one of six routes competing for funding in the chancellor’s autumn statement later this year.

But West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney said it was “a disgrace” that the borough was not on the list.

He said the borough was doing very well in attracting business and investment, but continued: “There’s no point if there’s not the proper infrastructure.

“We have been fighting hard for this road. It’s in the national interest and it should be given a high priority.”

County council officials have insisted that they will press for more funding if parts of the A47 do win government cash this autumn.

A Department for Transport spokesman added: “We are discussing a range of potential options for improving the A47 with interested parties to understand their views. No investment decisions have been made as this is work in progress and, when completed the study outcomes will inform the Government’s 2014 Autumn Statement.”