Final hearings revealed for Thickthorn roundabout revamp

Thickthorn Roundabout July 2020. Picture: Mike Page

Thickthorn Roundabout. - Credit: Mike Page

The next round of public hearings to help decide whether a section of the A47 will be overhauled will be held early next month.

National Highways is seeking 'development consent orders' for three sections of the A47, as part of a £300m project.

The proposed changes include the Thickthorn roundabout, on the edge of Norwich.

The Thickthorn proposals would see a new slip road leave the northbound A11 northbound - south of the roundabout - which will take motorists beneath the A47 and the A11 north of the roundabout, before rejoining traffic on the A47 heading towards Great Yarmouth, eliminating the need to use the roundabout.

The overhaul will also see a segregated left-hand turn added to those travelling eastbound on the A47, a new footbridge added and a fourth lane on the southern part of the junction.

Thickthorn Roundabout July 2020. Picture: Mike Page

Thickthorn Roundabout July 2020. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Meetings covering Thickthorn issues, including compulsory purchases and environmental matters, will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams, from March 1 to March 4, starting at 10am each day. 

Those wishing to speak or attend should contact the hearing case team at A47A11thickthorn@planninginspectorate.gov.uk by February 25, 2022.

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Hearings for the scheme between Blofield and North Burlingham and for North Tuddenham to Easton have been completed.

Planning inspector Alex Hutson said in December he would present his findings and conclusions, together with his recommendation, to transport secretary Grant Shapps, no later than Tuesday, March 22 this year.

The Blofield to North Burlingham scheme would see the existing single-lane section replaced with a new 1.6-mile dual carriageway, 70m south of the existing road.

Improvements would be made to the Yarmouth Road junction, closing the right turn and adding a dedicated lane to join the A47, while a new bridge would be added over the new dual carriageway at Blofield.

The A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton . Pic: Highways England.

The A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton . Pic: Highways England. - Credit: Highways England

The North Tuddenham to Easton plan includes five miles of new dual carriageway between Hockering and Honingham and two new junctions at the Wood Lane/Berry's Lane and Norwich Road/Blind Lane junctions, alongside the removal of the Easton roundabout.

There are also plans for an underpass for traffic and pedestrians at Mattishall Lane, replacing the Church Lane underpass and link road and a walking and cycling route from Honingham to St Andrew’s Church. 

The final decision on whether the projects can go ahead rests with Mr Shapps.

He can choose to accept the inspector's recommendation, or could ignore it.

The latter happened with the planning inquiry into the revamp of Norwich's Anglia Square.

A planning inspector recommended approval, but local government inspector Robert Jenrick disagreed and blocked the scheme.