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MPs to seek funding commitment to more A47 improvements




From left, West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long, Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor James Palmer, A47 Alliance chairman Martin Wilby and North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham at the meeting in Lynn Town Hall (7290539)
From left, West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long, Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor James Palmer, A47 Alliance chairman Martin Wilby and North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham at the meeting in Lynn Town Hall (7290539)

MPs have set out their aim to secure a funding commitment this year for further dualling of the A47, following talks in Lynn.

Members of the A47 Alliance met at the town hall on Friday to discuss progress on the Just Dual It campaign, which was launched in the town just over a year ago.

The campaign aims to secure a commitment to dual the entire length of the route between Peterborough and Lowestoft by 2030.

A £300 million package was committed by ministers to upgrading six sections of the route in 2014.

But Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman has indicated he and Parliamentary colleagues will be seeking an even greater commitment from the government over the coming months.

He said: “We must keep up the pressure on Highways England not to let the committed works slip and on the government to commit to phase two.

“I am delighted to be working with my parliamentary colleagues to lead the charge in Westminster for the A47 Alliance in the lead up to this year’s autumn Budget.”

The alliance’s current priorities for the period from 2020 to 2025 include dualling of the stretch between Tilney All Saints and East Winch, which they estimate would cost around £130 million to build, and from Wisbech to Peterborough.

The organisation estimates the latter project could cost up to £1 billion.

Meanwhile, upgrading the stretch from East Winch to Swaffham and beyond towards Dereham is a longer-term aim for the period after 2025.

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said he is seeking an adjournment debate in the House of Commons and meetings with ministers on the A47.

And he praised the widespread support of council and business leaders for the campaign.

He said: “Whilst the existing £300million investment in the A47 is welcome, once completed only slightly more than 50 per cent of the road will be dualled.

“This is why myself and other local MPs are constantly applying pressure on the Department for Transport and the Treasury for more investment.”

“What was really impressive about the meeting is there is now unanimous agreement among all the key politicians, local authorities and other bodies. I am confident that by working together we can achieve our aim of getting the A47 fully dualled.”



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