Graphic: Plans to extend A47 from Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft revealed

Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council. Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
10:35 AM

A campaign to get the A47 extended has been launched, after top politicians and business leaders revealed an ambitious scheme to connect the road from Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft.

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The long-running saga of Lowestoft’s third river crossing

For decades, there have been calls for a third river crossing to tackle congestion in Lowestoft - but a lack of cash has always held back such a scheme.

The hope is that, by reclassifying the A12 as part of the A47, that will unlock the funding which could finally bring a solution.

In June 2007, the then Waveney MP Bob Blizzard launched a petition for a third crossing over Lake Lothing, to ease congestion, It attracted more than 12,000 signatures.

Two years later, the then transport minister, Sadiq Khan, agreed to Mr Blizzard’s request that an Economic Impact Assessment be carried out by the Highways Agency. The agency produced a report in 2009 – the Lake Lothing Third Crossing Feasibility Study – which said the crossing would cost nearly £38m.

And, last month, Suffolk County Council agreed to commission a feasibility study into the possibility.

Businessman Peter Colby also has plans to build a £30m tidal barrage crossing across Lake Lothing.

He says, as well as improving Lowestoft’s transport system it would protect the town from rising sea levels, thereby opening up large swathes of derelict dockside land for redevelopment.

Transport minister Stephen Hammond is to be lobbied to agree to the extension later this month.

The idea is that an extension of the A47 - by getting the existing A12 or the planned spine road through Lowestoft reclassified as part of the trunk road - will be a shot in the arm for tourism and businesses in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

Click here to view the ’A47 - the need for improvements’ graphic

The A47: ‘At best a brake on economic growth’

Momentum over the need for changes to the A47 has been growing over the past 12 months or so.

In November 2012, a new business case was unveiled spelling out the reasons why the vital stretch of carriagway deserves investment.

Dualling the entire 105-mile road would, consultants commissioned by Norfolk County Council say, could lead to 30-minute reduction in journey times along the length of the road from Peterborough to Great Yarmouth.

But, rather than calling for the whole road to be dualled, which the government is unlikely to bankroll in the current economic climate, the plan has identified specific pinch-points along the road which consultants say could be targeted for improvements.

Key areas include the Acle Straight, North Tuddenham to Easton stretch, and the Harwick junction at King’s Lynn.

The report states: “In short, as it is currently operating, the A47 is at best a brake on the economic growth for the whole county, including parts of Cambridgeshire.

“At worst, it hinders investment, adds to business and commuter costs, causes disproportionate accident and safety issues, and contributes to the ‘peripheral’ image of the county.”

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee, Waveney District Council leader Colin Law, county council cabinet member for roads and transport Graham Newman and Waveney MP Peter Aldous met at Lowestoft Town Hall yesterday to discuss the plans.

Last year, the transport minister Stephen Hammond said that the A47 was among the top six routes in the country that will be looked at by the Highways Agency and was in the running to receive funding between 2015 and 2020.

The hope is that, by linking the A47 to Lowestoft as a trunk road, the funding could help meet the costs of a new river crossing.

Council bosses also say extending trunk road access from Great Yarmouth to the south shore of Lake Lothing in Lowestoft would help attract even greater benefits for the two towns - from the planned £50bn worth of investment in the southern North Sea over the next 10 years.

The meeting follows a decision taken by the county council last month to commission the comprehensive feasibility study into building a third crossing over Lake Lothing - as laid out in the Lowestoft Transport & Infrastructure Prospectus.

Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council and Peter Aldous MP are fully committed to resolving Lowestoft’s traffic problems and connecting the town to the A47 is a fresh and potentially decisive way of tackling the third river crossing issue.

“We want to see the A47 improved and Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth linked in a way that will genuinely benefit the town and the county. We will be pushing for this to be high up on Stephen Hammond’s priority list.

“Alleviating congestion in Lowestoft will help to regenerate the town and make it a better place for people who live, work and visit here.”

Colin Law, leader of Waveney District Council, said: “I am absolutely determined to explore every opportunity to improve transport links in Lowestoft and a plan to extend the A47 could be the answer.

“The major stumbling block for a new road crossing in Lowestoft has always been the cost and the difficulty we would face securing the government funding needed to make this project a reality.

“However, this fresh approach might enable us to unlock the money we would need. I know how important this is to the people of Lowestoft and we will leave no stone unturned.”

£19m shake-up for Norwich A47 junction gets government green light

MPs call for more ambition in short term demands for the A47

23 comments

  • The A12 & A47 both historically have one end starting from Norfolk. Lets leave it at that!

    Report this comment

    Watton Warrior

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • The article starts as 'Plans' then swiftly moves on to a 'Campaign', indicating that there are no firm plans at all. Soon 'Hope' creeps in to be followed a little later by 'Want'. Inevitably towards the end of the article 'Stumbling Block', 'Difficulty' and (reference to) 'Funding' appear, although to be fair 'Determination' is in there, concluding that 'No Stone will be left unturned' ! So all in all, whatever the potential merits of this 'idea' that someone has it's pretty much business as usual - a la Acle Straight!

    Report this comment

    wallywalnut

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • Yes Mick, as with housing, anything goes on our floodplains. For how long do you think the lack of a proper national flood defence policy will keep this long term investment safe from being inundated with regular flooding. And Daisy, have you realised that there are more cars on the road and that it has long been recognised by the SATRA report that we can't build roads fast enough to get us out of jams and congestion?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • I bet the censored comments are better.

    Report this comment

    kevin bacon

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • What is that on his head?

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • So Mick thinks it will persuade the Highways agency to spend money on the roundabouts that GY planners have managed to mess up and reduce to jam creators? That's when the same highways agency cant even build a roundabout at Honingham which doesnt produce traffic jams as far back as Frans Green. This press release sounds like something a few chaps came up with after a good dinner

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • Alecto - best comment so far

    Report this comment

    Steven

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • Watch out everyone. This is yet another road that will probable be a toll road. Sorry Castle. Wrong end of the stick. It will not mean that the Acle straight will be duallled. If anything like what Daisy said, it will probable veer off near Runham and totally bypass Yarmouth and on to Lowestoft, following the lines of where the current bypass should have gone.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • The congestion in the town has been made much worse by the disaster otherwise known as the Sunrise Scheme and until they face up to that all these silly plans will achieve nothing.The trouble is these big wigs just don't listen.

    Report this comment

    kevin bacon

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • Its an (h) air brush!

    Report this comment

    Watton Warrior

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • Why not designate the A47 as the A12? Why should it make a happeny worth of difference one way or the other? This pointless exercise is probably keeping some otherwise unemployable public servant on his well polished chair but in itself serves no logical or even vaguely useful purpose. More money wasting madness by SCC & WDC.

    Report this comment

    peter waller

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • This is a sensible move. The A12 south of Lowestoft will never be improved so the A12 from Yarmouth to Lowestoft being designated as A47 will be logical - and could help Yarmouth and Lowestoft get the A47 dualled a bit earlier than otherwise ( make it a bigger priority for Government)

    Report this comment

    Mick Castle

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • The map shows clearly where the real problem lies: the very limited stretches of dual carriageway. I first went along the A47 in the late1940s with my father The last time I used the A47 was in 2012. There were still huge sections that were single carriageway (ie two way traffic) including the Acle Straight - not much improvement in 60+ years. It is essential to get that rectified before the cosmetic re-naming of the A12 between Yarmouth and Lowestoft. It hardly needs adding that the dreadful road system is behind the limited success of Yarmouth's Outer Harbour

    Report this comment

    JackH-1938

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • Kevin. I bet they are as well. Archant are even censoring my comments about the break in at Vodaphone in Yarmouth. All I am saying is where are all the CCTV cameras in Yarmouth ?, but the little tinpot dictators at Archant have decided to censor it. I can only assume they have all been turned off and GYBC dont want us to know about it.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • A recent study showed that the approach to the Vauxhall Roundabout and the stretch of the A12 from the Vauxhall Roundabout to the Harfreys roundabout are currently, and will continue to be, the most severely congested part of the road network in East Anglia (Apart from those already being upgraded.) Dualling the Acle Straight will not improve this, you will just get to the queue at the Vauxhall Roundabout a bit quicker..... A third river-crossing in Great yarmouth will improve this, and a proper re-engineering of the Gapton Hall Harfreys roundabout section would. If this plan could help with the above, great.

    Report this comment

    Tricki

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • The A47 Alliance is aiming to dual between Peterborough and Yarmouth - having 250,000 people at the eastern end with tourism and a major portenergy focus makes it more likely that we will get the Acle Straight dualled.

    Report this comment

    Mick Castle

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • It looks like a syrup.

    Report this comment

    kevin bacon

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • Thankfully someone at SCC seems to be taking the need for a third crossing seriously and at last our Ipswich based leaders and councillors are trying to get something done about the additional crossing. Apparently it will be SCC that will drive this project, as they have with the two relief roads. We have the northern relief road being planned, what is needed now is a bridge to connect this to the completed southern relief road. Nice to see our Suffolk and Waveney elected representitives doing something positive.

    Report this comment

    Port Watcher

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • Well unless they are hoping to attract funding to somehow build a new stretch of A47 where the Gorleston by pass should have gone in the first place ie skirting Bradwell and Gorleston, all this will mean is renaming the congested badly planned A12. Since traffic is often at a crawl from all around the Harfreys and Gapton roundabouts and Breydon Bridge their new A47 isnt going to be up to much. And of course there is the added problem than any new route would have to be on marshland. There are far more important bits of the A47 to worry about than fiddling about reclassifying an impossible bit of road in Lowmouth

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • Have the people that came up with this idea (and also those that think it a good one) ever used the road between GY and Lowestoft? In case they hadn't noticed, it's already dualled, and apart from one or two dodgy bits hardly needs looking at; whereas the Acle Straight and other parts of the A47, well thats a completely different story.

    Report this comment

    Jaydee

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • Yarmouth and Lowestoft are already connected by the A12 and the Gorleston Bobsleigh bypass. Spend the money on dualling the Acle Straight instead.

    Report this comment

    DJ

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • Re-classification? Red tape to fight red tape. A bigger knot is inevitable. SCC and WDC need to change their leaders, 1930s the third crossing was first proposed in Lowestoft... Not even an approach road or pencil line so far from WDC. Their only vision is to upset others business plans, and waste taxpayers money on their own egocentric daft ideas..

    Report this comment

    Dave01

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • Those drips have about as much chance of achieving something worthwhile as Nelson has of getting his eye back.

    Report this comment

    kevin bacon

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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