Just dual it! - A47 petitioners' plea to prime minister
- Credit: Archant
Impassioned campaigners who have set up a petition to dual the Acle Straight have written a letter to the prime minster demanding he take action.
Ron Ellis and Mick Castle, from the Dual the Acle Straight group, started a petition to dual the A47 between Great Yarmouth and Acle back in April.
Mr Ellis and Mr Castle have written letters to Boris Johnson, the secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps and the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy Kwasi Kwarteng calling for them to take action.
The letter, seen exclusively by this paper, reads: "I write to impress on you the strength of feeling felt by local people with regard to the need for the dualling of the A47 Acle Straight between Acle and Great Yarmouth to be included in the government's Highways Programme for 2025-30."
The letter states more than 5,000 people have signed three petitions in support of the Acle Straight becoming a dual carriageway.
Mr Ellis and Mr Castle also note that the existing single-track connecting Great Yarmouth with Acle is "totally unfit to sustain" its current flow of traffic.
In their letter, Mr Ellis and Mr Castle say the campaign has the support of the Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, Waveney MP Peter Aldous and local politicians from across the party spectrum.
Mr Castle said: "It beggars belief that our calls have still not been heeded after all these years.
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"5,000 signatories for the three current petitions are a matter of real satisfaction but now what we need is for the government to respond with a clear, unambiguous pledge to deliver on Acle Straight dualling in 2025-30.
"That’s the way to 'Build Back Better' with a safer dual-carriageway road with the capacity to handle the heavy traffic to and from Yarmouth and Lowestoft."
Mr Ellis said: "With the cross-party support from local politicians adding additional weight to those 5,000 signatures it is clear that our local communities speak with one voice on this issue.
"We urge the government to respond decisively and announce the inclusion of the Acle Straight in its next Highways Programme."
You can sign the three petitions by visiting:
THE DUAL IT CAMPAIGN
The 'Just Dual It!' campaign is spearheaded by the Eastern Daily Press and its sister paper the Great Yarmouth Mercury, Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.
The aim of the campaign is to put pressure on the government to commit to further improvements to the A47; which stretches from Peterborough to Lowestoft, on top of the £300m which has been earmarked.
It was launched to much fanfare in 2018 and at the time it was said just 47 per cent of one of the most important roads in the region is dual carriageway.
The campaign saw the launch of Wish we were dualled posters and Just Dual It! Freepost postcards in the EDP for people to send their own message to the government about why they thought the A47 needs to be fully-dualled as soon as possible