The date of the crunch Court of Appeal hearing over the fate of three major Norfolk A47 improvement schemes has been confirmed.

The hearing, brought about after environmental campaigner Dr Andrew Boswell challenged the dismissal of his High Court battle over dualling projects for the road, will be held on January 16.

The delays to the schemes caused by the activist's legal challenge have already cost the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds.

Eastern Daily Press: Dr Andrew BoswellDr Andrew Boswell (Image: Andrew Boswell)

The matter - which will decide once and for all whether the government acted legally in allowing three major changes to the A47 in Norfolk - has been fixed for a one-day hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Earlier this year, after a two-day hearing at the High Court, judge Mrs Justice Thornton dismissed the argument by Dr Boswell - a former Green city and county councillor.

Eastern Daily Press: Mrs Justice ThorntonMrs Justice Thornton (Image: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary)

Officials say the projects will make the roads safer and tackle congestion.

But Dr Boswell had argued the cumulative carbon impact of the A47 schemes had not been properly considered by the Department for Transport, when ministers granted permission for them.

While the judge dismissed the argument, Dr Boswell requested the right to appeal, with his case centring on the carbon emission issue.

Eastern Daily Press: The A47 between Blofield and North BurlinghamThe A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham (Image: Mike Page)

Lord Justice Coulson granted that appeal, saying: "The judge may well have been right in her conclusion, but I consider that the contrary case making up this single ground has a real prospect of success."

Eastern Daily Press: Work on the A47 between Easton and North TuddenhamWork on the A47 between Easton and North Tuddenham (Image: Mike Page)

Dr Boswell's challenge has held up work to dual two sections of the A47 - from Blofield to North Burlingham and from Easton to North Tuddenham, plus a revamp of Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich.

National Highways - the government company responsible for the road - said it had caused several months of delays to the projects, pushing up the costs by tens of millions of pounds, because of construction cost inflation and legal fees.

Eastern Daily Press: Preparatory work on the A47 has startedPreparatory work on the A47 has started (Image: Denise Bradley)

Some preparatory work has been done some preparatory work, including archaeological investigations, moving utility pipes and creating compounds for construction vehicles.

But the main dualling work is on hold pending the Court of Appeal judge's decision on Dr Boswell's case.

After that, there are no further legal options open to either Dr Boswell or the government to challenge or overturn whatever decision is made.