Councillors to snub A11 bypass opening

The official opening of the A11 Attleborough bypass next week is set to be boycotted by town councillors.The ceremony will mark the completion of £20m worth of improvements to the 3.

The official opening of the A11 Attleborough bypass next week is set to be boycotted by town councillors.

The ceremony will mark the completion of £20m worth of improvements to the 3.3 mile stretch on the route from Norwich to London.

But town mayor, Jeremy Burton, said there would be a boycott of the official opening as a protest about the Highway's Agency and county council's handling of the Besthorpe Road junction - which currently only offers one-way traffic flow onto the A11 northbound.

“We are making this stand due to Norfolk County not listening to Attleborough's continued requests for the Besthorpe Road junction to be updated as part of the A11 works. It would have alleviated the traffic congestion in the centre of Attleborough,” he said.

“The town centre is currently regularly in a gridlock situation as anyone passing through the town at peak times is only too well aware.

“The lack of these improvements will also hinder the town's forthcoming future development as the road infrastructure is already at bursting point. Perhaps the Highways Agency can give my cup of tea to one of the car drivers in the traffic queue which will undoubtedly form in Attleborough whilst the ceremony was taking place.”

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Mr Burton said the “final insult” was that invitations to the ceremony had been sent to Barbara Waters, who had not been mayor since 2004, and to the former town clerk who retired last year.

Adrian Gunson, county council portfolio holder for transport, said the authority had met three times recently with town councillors to discuss the junction and other traffic concerns. “It is not a question of not listening to them, we have not got the resources of over £2million for the improvements at Besthorpe Road,” he said.

A Highways Agency spokesman said it had always been made clear there was not a strong enough case to include the junction improvements in the bypass scheme.