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Government urged to make commitment to West Norfolk road improvements




Cambridgeshire Mayoral election count at Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham, James Palmer acceptance speech . Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Mayoral election count at Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham, James Palmer acceptance speech . Picture: Keith Heppell

Talks have taken place between the government and a senior regional politician over demands for upgrades to two key road links serving West Norfolk.

Although the long-running campaign for full dualling of the A47 continues, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor James Palmer has also urged ministers to act on the A10 as well.

Mr Palmer has met Roads Minister John Hayes to discuss the routes and reiterated his message that the current improvements planned for the A47 are insufficient for the region.

Earlier this year, the combined authority which Mr Palmer heads commissioned a feasibility study into the possiblity of dualling the stretch of the A47 between the end of the existing dual carriageway stretch at Walton Highway and the junction with the A16 near Peterborough. It is expected to be completed in the spring.

He said: “It was good to have the opportunity to have a focused discussion with the Minister about the A47 and A10.

“I made clear that though the improvements proposed to the A47 are a start, they don’t go far enough.

“There is a good opportunity that if our business plan is completed in time it could feed quite nicely into the next round of Government funding.

“The minister was aware of the huge importance of the A47 to the East Anglian economy and problems along the road between Wisbech and Peterborough which has a knock -on effect for businesses, not just in Cambridgeshire but Norfolk as well.”

Mr Palmer said there was also “no alternative” to making significant investment in the A10, because of the amount of housing that is expected to be built in that area over the coming years.

Although a £300 million package to improve six parts of the A47 was announced three years ago, it is still likely to be three or four years before it is completed.

Earlier this year, the combined authority also commissioned a feasibility study to examine the possibility of extending the M11 from its current northern end near Cambridge to the Wisbech area.

If that happened, it would almost halve the distance motorists from the Lynn area have to drive to reach the nearest motorway.



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