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Don’t worry, says the Highways Agency - work on A47 around King’s Lynn, Wisbech and Peterborough won’t start until September

PUBLISHED: 08:43 13 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:19 13 June 2017

Traffic queues on the A47 approaching the Hardwick Roundabout, in King's lynn. Picture: Chris Bishop

Traffic queues on the A47 approaching the Hardwick Roundabout, in King's lynn. Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

Repairs to the A47 which will leave drivers facing months of delays will not start until September, highways chiefs pledged today.

A public notice published by the Highways England said work which will see stretches of the road closed around King’s Lynn, Wisbech and Peterborough would last nine months, starting on or after July 3.

It sparked fears of gridlock on the region’s busiest road through the summer season.

But today a spokesman for the agency said: “We want to reassure people that the project in the Saddlebow and the Kings Lynn area is still in its early stage.

“Although the Temporary Traffic Regulation Order comes into effect on July 3, this refers to early technical ground work and should not affect road users.

“The actual scheme is not planned to start until September 2017, as we wanted to avoid the peak season. We are working with Norfolk County Council and other stakeholders on putting a programme of work together, and we will communicate these plans very soon.”

The public notice says “the majority” of the maintenance will be carried out overnight, with closures between 8pm and 6am.

But it warns some weekend closures will also be required while bridge works are in progress at Saddlebow, on the southern outskirts of King’s Lynn.

South and West Lynn ward councillor, Charles Joyce, said news of the works beginning later could alleviate earlier concerns of traffic chaos but it will still have an adverse effect on emergency and utilities services.

He said: “They have to have long consultations to work out how to get to incidents, it takes several weeks to plan. Hopefully Highways England will now tell all the emergency services what they propose to do.”

With the works taking place through winter, Mr Joyce said the alternative routes will need to be gritted properly to avoid accidents, adding: “The county council and Highways England need to sit down and come up with a gritting strategy to be implemented this winter, and road restrictions must be maintained.”

Other affected stretches of the A47 will include between the B198 Redmoor roundabout to the A1101 Elm High Road, near Wisbech; the A1101 Elm High Road to the A141 roundabout at Guyhirn; the New Cut roundabout at Thorney to the A141 junction at Guyhirn; the Bretton Way Interchange to the Fulbridge Road Interchange, at Peterborough and the Eye Green roundabout to the Hodney roundabout at Peterborough.

Diversions will be in force while the work is in progress. When carriageways are closed between the Pullover and Hardwick Roundabouts, on the outskirts of Lynn, the sign-posted alternative to the 3.7-mile stretch it will be a 33 miles detour via the A1101, A1122 and A10.

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