Update: Both lanes of A47 re-opened after traffic chaos on first day of Royal Norfolk Show

Traffic problems that had caused heavy delays for thousands of people heading to the Royal Norfolk Show this morning are starting to ease, but police are still asking for people's patience.

The A47 southern bypass was closed westbound between the Harford Bridges A140 junction and the Thickthorn roundabout A11 junction after a three-vehicle crash at Harford Bridges around 8am this morning.

Diversions were initially set up to direct traffic through Norwich and to other routes, with no access to the A47 from the A140 Ipswich Road junction, but both westbound lanes have now been re-opened.

The queues were stretching back as far as the A146 junction near Trowse at the peak of the congestion, with fire engines from Norwich, Earlham and Sprowston taking around an hour to clear the scene safely.

The area remains congested and motorists are still advised by police to avoid the area.

An ambulance spokesman said of the injuries suffered in the crash: 'A female casualty in her 40s is complaining of chest injuries but is conscious and breathing and a male casualty is complaining of back and shin injuries.'

An ambulance has taken the man and woman to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

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Debris has also been reported on the road between the hospital and the Thickthorn roundabout due to a lorry shedding some of its load.

A two-vehicle crash near the Thickthorn roundabout, on the A47 near Hethersett, at around 8.15am also added to the problems. One man suffered a wrist injury but paramedics have dealt with injuries at the scene and the crash was soon cleared.

With tens of thousands of people making their way to the Norfolk Showground in Costessey for the Royal Norfolk Show, just off the A47, where gates opened at 8am, congestion has been very heavy in all directions this morning.

A car had broken down on the eastbound carriageway of the A47 earlier in the morning as well and although that was soon cleared, traffic has been queued back along that carriageway from the junction for the showground for most of the morning.

Dereham Road - the main access point to the showground from Norwich - is also reported to be moving very slowly as people try to get to the Royal Norfolk Show.

To complicate matters further, some traffic lights are currently inoperable at the Thickthorn roundabout, adding to the traffic problems.

With police so busy dealing with traffic incidents around the county this morning chief inspector Chris Spinks has said: 'We are currently dealing with a number of separate incidents which has led to traffic disruption on the A47 in Norwich and we would ask motorists to be patient while emergency services work to clear the roads.'

It seems the congestion is now starting to settle though and the 2011 Royal Norfolk Show is now well underway.

Check back to www.edp24.co.uk throughout the day for the latest on events at the showground today and tomorrow.