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Work needed now to make full case for A47 dualling, says MP

PUBLISHED: 11:42 13 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:42 13 January 2017

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

Work must begin now on making the case for the next raft of upgrades to the A47 if the region is to have a high quality dualled road from Lowestoft to the A1, an MP has said.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous said he wanted to “lay down a marker to the government” after calling for roads minister John Hayes to work with him and other East Anglian colleagues when drawing up the Department for Transport’s second road investment strategy.

He said there was “quite a lot of proving to do to make that business case”.

Money for upgrades to six parts of the A47, including three sections of dual carriageway, was announced before the last election. Construction work is not expected to begin until the end of the decade.

It was also agreed that the A12 between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft will be reclassified, something that is expected to happen in the next few months.

But an upgrade to the Acle Straight is unlikely to take place for a number of years as tiny rare snails need to settle into their new home before work to dual that section of road can begin.

Mr Aldous said: “From my perspective what we got two years ago was a good start in terms of funding. But it was only a start.

“We now want to carry on and get the remainder done. Obviously there is a lot to still be done as far as driving through the six projects that have been highlighted and procuring and delivering that. It is still an ongoing piece of work.”

But he said they needed to be looking at a long-term strategy for a “high quality dualled road to the A1”.

Responding to Mr Aldous in the House of Commons, Mr Hayes said more needed to be done in the second road investment strategy.

He said he would be writing to all his colleagues inviting them to participate in the process.

Mr Aldous said he thought the New Anglia local enterprise partnership would play a key role with MPs and councils to lobby the government.

“It is something which, over the course of the next few months, we will be starting to really get going on.”

Should the A47 be fully dualled? Email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

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