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Why dualling the A47 needs to take priority

Why dualling the A47 needs to take priority

Published by Grace Mcgachy
6:18am 26th June 2019.

The East of England has joined forces in Westminster to press Government on dualling the A47 in Norfolk and beyond. 

They came together yesterday (25th June) to urge the Government to fund further dualling of the A47 trunk road as a priority.

More than 60 people gathered at the A47 parliamentary reception.

Patrick Peal, Chief Executive of the East Anglian Air Ambulance, spoke of how often their crews attended traffic accidents on the road and urged the Government to invest in dualling further stretches of the A47 to increase road safety.

In response, Minister of State for Transport Michael Ellis said at the event:

“I get it. I get the importance of the A47 in terms of east-west movement and the economic value.

I really appreciate you all coming together for this project, it does send a powerful and effective message.

I look forward to receiving new information from the A47 Alliance, we’ll be looking very closely at it.”

 

The Minister was then presented with a crate of evidence gathered by the A47 Alliance to demonstrate the urgent need for upgrades to this major east-west route.

The Department for Transport is expected to announce this autumn which trunk roads will receive money from its Road Investment Strategy 2 funding pot, for improvements to be carried out between 2020 and 2025.

The A47 Alliance is calling on the Government to commit funding to fully dual the A47 by 2030.

They specifically want to prioritise upgrading the following sections from single to dual carriageway by 2025:

  • The Acle Straight in Norfolk
  • Tilney to East Winch (including Hardwick flyover) in Norfolk
  • Peterborough to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire
police accident kl

Martin Wilby, Chairman of the A47 Alliance and Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport at Norfolk County Council, said:

“I think we can be really encouraged by today.

We have an excellent evidence-based case for the great need for these improvements and we’ve demonstrated that the whole region is speaking with one voice by backing the A47 Alliance’s dualling priorities.

We’ve done our best.

And hopefully, in the autumn, we’ll get the good news we need.

“But our work won’t be done then.

Beyond this autumn’s funding announcement, our ultimate aim is the full dualling of the A47.

So we will continue to push the Government to commit to dual the road from Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft on the east coast all the way through to Peterborough.”

scarning a47 fatal

 

The A47 trunk road, which runs from Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth on the east coast and connects to the A1 at Peterborough, is managed by Highways England on behalf of the Government.

Currently just 47% of this major route is dual carriageway and while the Department for Transport has committed to making £300m of improvements to the road, including dualling some stretches.

But this will still leave substantial sections of the A47 as single carriageway with no current plans to dual them.

 

Between 2011 and 2015 there were 180 fatal or serious accidents on the A47.

Even if all of the A47 Alliance’s would also like the Department for Transport  to carry out the £300m improvements which are already funded:

  •  Great Yarmouth junction improvements, Norfolk
  • Blofield to North Burlingham dualling, Norfolk
  • A47/A11 Thickthorn junction improvement, Norfolk
  • North Tuddenham to Easton dualling, Norfolk
  • Guyhirn junction improvement, Cambridgeshire
  • Wansford to Sutton dualling, Peterborough

Funding for these improvements was announced in 2014 and work to construct them was originally due to be completed between 2015 and 2020. 

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