Roads cash to focus minds on A47

Traffic on the A47 Acle Straight  which runs between Great Yarmouth and Acle passing through Halvergate Marshes.

Picture: James Bass

Traffic on the A47 Acle Straight which runs between Great Yarmouth and Acle passing through Halvergate Marshes. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

Campaigners for the A47 in Norfolk hope one of the chancellor’s announcements could bring further funding.

Mr Osborne announced capital investment in infra-structure would total £5bn over two years, including £1bn for roads which will see the A1, A30 and M25 upgraded.

While there was no specific cash for Norfolk, there could be something to be gleaned from the small print with the statement.

That shows how, over the two years 2013/14 and 2014/15, £270m is available “for priority national and local projects which will deliver significant improvements on the road network such as removing bottlenecks, enable housing and business developments, and help to provide improved access to Enterprise Zones”.

Great Yarmouth, at the end of the A47, is an Enterprise Zone and Norfolk County Council’s recently launched Gateway to Growth prospectus details where the road’s bottlenecks are, the likely cost and the benefits of dealing with them.

Some £1.3m has already been earmarked for the A47 through pinch point funding, which will be used to create an eastbound express lane at Honingham, between Norwich and Dereham.

But, with an announcement on further projects due next year, a trip to London could yet prove timely for the A47.

A delegation from Norfolk is due to meet roads minister Stephen Hammond to make the case for the A47 a week on Tuesday.

Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North, said: “I will be looking very closely into the infrastructure proposals to see if there are ways in which Norfolk could benefit.”

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