Concerns over how A47 dualling would fit in with Western Link plans

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

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

Concerns are to be raised over how dualling part of the A47 will fit in with the plans for the £198m Norwich Western Link and with the long-mooted Food Enterprise Park.

Highways England has submitted its plans to dual five miles of the A47 between North Tuddenham to Easton, as part of a £300m scheme, with the Planning Inspectorate.

Norfolk County Council, which wants its Norwich Western Link to connect the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 at Wood Lane, near Honingham, backs that dualling, but has a number of concerns about the scheme as it stands.

One of the chief concerns is what would happen if the Western Link is not built, or if it was delayed.

If it gets funding and permission, then work on the Western Link would start in 2023, with the road open in 2025.

The Easton to Tuddenham dualling is due to start in 2023 and be finished in 2024/2025.

But the report by council officers states that: "It is clear that the combination of both schemes increases traffic levels on the A47 as they provide more attractive routes and draw traffic from minor roads.

"What is also clear is that with no Western Link in place traffic levels on Sandy Lane, Wood Lane and Taverham Road increase due to the A47 dualling scheme."

The council is likely to state that it and Highways England would need to agree to work collaboratively to come up with temporary measures should such a situation arise.

Those concerns will be aired at a meeting of the council's planning and highways delegations committee on Thursday, June 3. where councillors will be asked to agree County Hall's representations to the Planning Inspectorate.  

Officers are also asking that councillors agree to make representations over the scheme’s potential impacts on the
Longwater Interchange at Costessey.

And representations would also be made over how to connect the planned Food Enterprise Hub at Easton to the A47.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport. Picture: Dan

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

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Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure at Norfolk County Council, said: “The combined benefits of the North Tuddenham to Easton dualling of the A47 and the Norwich Western Link will be huge for Norfolk, it really will transform travel through the area to the west of the city.  

“There’s a lot to be gained from delivering these projects in a similar timeframe and a lot we need to continue to work together on, including reducing disruption to local communities during the construction periods.

"We’re very keen to continue to collaborate with Highways England to get the best outcome for Norfolk.”