PM: I will be talking to George about A47

Prime Minister David Cameron visits part of the work on dualling the A11 at Elveden. With him is MP for South West Norfolk, Liz Truss. Picture: Denise Bradley Prime Minister David Cameron visits part of the work on dualling the A11 at Elveden. With him is MP for South West Norfolk, Liz Truss. Picture: Denise Bradley

Saturday, January 18, 2014
1:19 PM

Prime Minister David Cameron said he would keep talking to his chancellor George Osborne about the “crucial” A47 upgrade, but stopped short of committing to its inclusion in the Autumn Statement.

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Cameron receives on site briefing on A11 dualling

The premier saw first-hand the work being carried out to improve infrastructure in Norfolk.

David Cameron spent 45 minutes touring the A11 dualling site at Elveden, seeing the progress and speaking to engineers.

Mr Cameron said: “It is hugely satisfying to see this vital piece of infrastructure being fixed. It is an important promise that we made and an important promise that has been kept.”

When questioned about the length of time it had taken to get the A11 dualled, Mr Cameron said: “I don’t think these things should take so long. We need to go faster and look at these things more quickly.”

He toured the site with South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who said it was fantastic to have support from the highest level.

She said: “This part of the country has missed out for years. East Anglia is getting more funding than any other area in the UK, except for London and the south west. It should be a priority.”

Mr Cameron walked over the new bridge, which was installed in October, and met the site managers and workers.

Terry Carrick, steel fixer foreman who works for Swords, Balfour Beatty’s subcontractor, said: “It’s nice for someone to turn up. It’s a big project and it’s great for us. It has been talked about for a long time.”

The EDP will keep up the pressure for investment in the trunk road, which links Great Yarmouth to the Midlands, as the clock ticks towards the unveiling of the government’s spending blueprint later this year.

• Click here to view the final pieces of the region’s jigsaw

• Elveden: Prime minister David Cameron witnesses dualling work on the A11

• Cameron says A47 is “crucial”, but will not confirm it will be in Autumn Statement

• Prime minister says A47 upgrade will benefit Lowestoft

The A47 has been added to an elite list of roads on which there will be feasibility studies carried out, and the Department for Transport has said it will report back before the key mini-budget, which is usually in November or December.

In an interview at the headquarters of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, Mr Cameron said that East Anglia industries required good transport links, and he wanted to “unlock the true potential” of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Questioned about whether the A47 upgrade would be included in the Autumn Statement, Mr Cameron said he could not comment, adding: “I’m sure the first lord of the Treasury and the second lord of the Treasury will keep talking to each other.”

The premier is the first lord of the Treasury, while chancellor George Osborne is known as the second lord of the Treasury.

Mr Cameron said: “A47 is crucial. It is particularly crucial for Lowestoft to be included in that. I think is a very important programme. Let’s make sure it happens faster than the A11 did. These things do take time, but it is important to get on with it.”

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership called on the prime minister to “turn infrastructure promises into action”.

New Anglia LEP board member Mark Pendlington, who met the premier in Lowestoft, said: “Mr Cameron recognised that our part of the country has not had its fair share of infrastructure investment in the past. I was able to stress to him that growth, competitiveness and jobs depend on schemes like the dualling of the A11, and funding for the Postwick Hub and improvement schemes in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.”

Bob Blizzard, Labour’s general election candidate for Waveney, said: “Changing the name or number of a road doesn’t get us any further forward with a third river crossing in Lowestoft. Today the scheme isn’t anywhere on the list of transport schemes that Suffolk and Norfolk have submitted to the DfT for funding. Cameron’s words are just empty spin as far as Lowestoft is concerned.”

Mr Cameron travelled to Norwich from an earlier visit to Lowestoft, where he heard from Norwich MP Chloe Smith about the taskforce set up to form a plan to get faster, and more reliable, trains from Norwich to London in 90 minutes.

He said: “Obviously the rail links matter a huge amount as well. I have been talking to Chloe about that. Her very good group are bringing together the checklist of things that need to happen between the people who have the franchise and Network Rail as well. Are we going to get faster trains? Can we improve the track? There needs to be a programme to deliver this 90-minute service that we want to see.”

12 comments

  • PM: I will be talking to George about A47. ASDA muscling in then? Labour never sorted Lowestoft's third crossing, nor have any Tory governments.

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    peter waller

    Sunday, January 19, 2014

  • more pub talk and stage management and spin from david cameron

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    milecross

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • The NDR is partly funded but represents poor value for money as there is no link to the A47 west of Norwich. The NDR money would have been better spent on the A47. The Thatcher Government promised to dual both the A11 and A47. The former will be fully dualled by the end of this year. Whatever happens with the A47 it will be mainly single carriageway from Gt Yarmouth to Peterborough.

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    Capri

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Talk is cheap. A lot cheaper than £250+ million it cost to improve the A47. All we will get is a bypass for East Winch and the East Burlingham upgrade over next 10 years.

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    Tone the moan

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • I bet Nobbs hoped that meant him.

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    alecto

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • Having come here from the Cotswolds, with such easy access to the M4, M5 and M40, I find the state of East Anglia's trunk roads near-unbelievably poor. It's as if the DfT and County Councils have been asleep at the wheel for half a century. There is little point in simply widening A-roads, as traffic still has to move at the speed of the slowest vehicle, with risky overtaking manoeuvres necessary on winding roads. There should be a Norfolk-Suffolk double-push to dual roads where possible, and certainly the A47, which seems little better than when I was a boy.

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    Mr J

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • It is just a great pity that Bob Blizzard and the last Labour Government did not get on and sort the Third Crossing out. He was the MP for Waveney for many years and little seems to have been achieved in progressing the Third Crossing during that time apart from a study and a line being drawn on a map.

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    Port Watcher

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • So the electioneering goes on. He must be very,very scared of the election result to have ventured so far into foreign territory. What is it now? twice to East Anglia in just a few weeks. Wouldn't it just wonderful to hear the truth from a politician.Such as " I do not give a stuff about your roads, I have no idea what I am doing in this back water so far away from London". You could respect the real truth.

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    stormy

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Bob Blizzard had years to sort out the third crossing and all we got was a road to nowhere that cannot even be signed a relief road as it does not work. He did get his picture in the paper a lot though

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    DaveG

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • Nobody has been asleep! The effort that has gone into the A47 over the last 60 years has simply always been kicked into touch. As for feasibility studies!! Millions have already been spent on several comprehensive studies into sections of the road such as the Acle Straight.

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    Nick

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • Did he also say "vote for me"?

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

  • There are fairies at the bottom of my garden.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Saturday, January 18, 2014

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

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