'Very positive news' - Dualling of stretch of A47 moves step closer
- Credit: Ian Burt
Proposals to dual the A47 at the gateway to the region have moved a step closer.
A strategic assessment is being made of the case for improving a 20-mile stretch between Peterborough and Walton Highway, between Wisbech and King's Lynn.
Its findings will be submitted to the Department for Transport later this year, before a decision is made on whether to fund the work. If given the go-ahead, it would mean almost the entire 30-mile route between King's Lynn and Peterborough would be dualled.
Campaigners say dualling would cut journey times and ease congestion on sections such as the bottleneck between Wisbech and Guyhirn, as well as stimulating economic growth.
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for highways and infrastructure and chair of the A47 Alliance, said: "It's very positive, I very much welcome this as a step in the right direction.
"We all support the dualling of the whole A47, if this enables us to move closer to that it's god news."
Brian Long, leader of West Norfolk council, said: "It's good news. It deals with a lot of the practicalities - do you need a roundabout, do you need a flyover, that sort of stuff.
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"Anything that improves that section of road has to be a benefit to west Norfolk. It's a real positive step which we're really supportive of."
James Palmer, mayor of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, said: “We’ve always had a good case for dualling, and I have been determined to get this done."
The EDP-backed Just Dual It campaign, launched in 2018, called for all 115 miles of road between Peterborough and Lowestoft to be dualled at a then-estimated cost of £1.5bn. So far six stretches have been earmarked for improvement.
A planning application is being drawn up to dual the road between Wansford and Sutton, west of Peterborough.
Work is under way on enlarging the roundabout at the junction with the A141 at Guyhirn and the bridge across the River Nene.
An application for development consent is about to be lodged for the route between Tuddenham and Easton, west of Norwich, which will complete the dualling of the route between the city and Dereham.
Work on dualling the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham, east of Norwich, is expected to begin next year.
An application for improvements to the A11 Thickthorn Roundabout is due to be made soon, while improvements to junctions in Great Yarmouth have been put on hold pending a review of how the third river crossing will affect traffic around the town.