Mayor backs dualling

Major James Palmer. Picture: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

Major James Palmer. Picture: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority - Credit: Archant

The mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has pledged his full support to the campaign to dual the A47.

James Palmer, who describes improving the A47 as essential to unlocking the economic potential of the north of East Anglia, will lend his weight to the campaign, which includes his strategic transport powers, and direct lines of communication to central government.

Mr Palmer is already using those devolved powers to push for a full dualling of the A47 between Peterborough and Wisbech.

The road is currently single-lane from Thorney to the Worzel's roundabout at Walsoken, where it becomes dual carriageway.

The combined authority he leads has commissioned a business case on the upgrade which is due to be published shortly.

It is expected that any works will be funded mainly by Highways England and the Department for Transport.

Mr Palmer has also met with the chief executive of Highways England, Jim O'Sullivan, about the scheme.

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'I give my full support to the A47 Alliance and am very keen that the combined authority works with the campaign to upgrade this crucial road to a standard that will help unlock the economic future of the northern part of East Anglia,' he said.

'Since my election, I have been working determinedly to press for dualling for a large section of the Cambridgeshire section of the road – from Wisbech all the way to Peterborough.

'I strongly felt that the proposals already on the table with Highways England – to dual the A47 between Wansford and Sutton, and make improvements at the Guyhirn roundabout – were simply not ambitious enough.

'This dangerous road is crying out for full dualling, with clear benefits to be gained for residents and businesses of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and beyond.'

The Mayor's backing comes in the week members of the A47 Alliance met with roads minister Jesse Norman to send a strong, united message to central government on the need for a fully dualled A47.

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP) was a member of the A47 Alliance before its merger into the Combined Authority.