West Norfolk MP brands eight-year A47 building warning ‘unacceptable’

Election Count at Lynnsport King's Lynn'Henry Bellingham ANL-150805-111717009
Election Count at Lynnsport King's Lynn'Henry Bellingham ANL-150805-111717009
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Warnings that initial improvements to the A47 could take up to eight years to complete have been branded as “unacceptable” by a West Norfolk MP.

Last week, a leading Highways England official said building work on six stretches of the route, which will share £300 million of government funding, may not start until 2020.

He also warned that construction could take up to three years to complete, meaning the work could continue until 2023.

But North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said the investment, which was pledged by prime minister David Cameron last autumn, had to be delivered much earlier.

He said all the county’s MPs would be seeking urgent talks on the issue with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

And he added: “Any delay to this work would be completely unacceptable.”

Mr Bellingham’s comments follow a plea by West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney for politicians and business leaders across the region to create the “will” to make improvements to the route a reality.

He told the Lynn News on Friday that the future of the road had become “a crucial issue” for businesses in the borough and called on officials to “not keep finding excuses not to do it”.

But Mr Bellingham reiterated his view that the investment was good news for the borough and a step towards securing a full dualling of the entire stretch of the road from Yarmouth to Peterborough.

He said: “The most important thing is the commitment has been made. Nobody is trying to step back from that.

“We need to remind the government this was a pre-election decision.”