George Freeman, Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk. Photo: Bill Smith

Minister: A47 upgrade crucial to economic growth

Thursday, February 7, 2013
10.21 PM

A transport minister has emphasised the importance of improving the A47 as central to the future prosperity of Norfolk and Norwich.

Stephen Hammond made the comments in the House of Commons during a debate on how to upgrade the road which Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman had called for.

East Anglian political and business leaders recently launched the Gateway to Growth campaign to secure improvements to the A47 which could generate nearly 10,000 jobs, add £390m to the region’s economy and attract £800m of private investment.

Mr Hammond said: “I think that [Mr Freeman] knows that I take a great interest in this and I clearly appreciate how important it is for [the people of Norfolk] and for the economic growth of the whole region.”

Gateway to Growth demands action on 14 projects at pinch-points and problematic junctions, including the Acle Straight, creating a third river crossing at Great Yarmouth, and building an East Winch/Middleton bypass in west Norfolk.

Campaigners had been pushing the government to consider taking a funding decision on the upgrades this year – in which case money to pay for them could come through as early as 2015.