Dear George Osborne: As you head to Norfolk, here are the improvements needed to our transport links
- Credit: PA
Chancellor George Osborne will visit Norfolk today as the campaign to improve our transport links gathers pace.
MPs will have a chance to make the case for a bigger slice of cash to upgrade the A47, and it is understood that the chancellor will be hearing more about where the priorities along the road will be.
It comes after prime minister David Cameron announced on Monday that the A47 would be in line for part of his £15bn pot of roads cash to be set out in the mini-budget on December 3.
Mr Osborne will also meet Norwich North MP Chloe Smith to hear about the Great Eastern Rail Line business case – sent to him last week – which sets out almost half a billion pounds of spending needed for an upgrade to the line.
MPs met transport secretary Patrick McLouglin this week, and the chancellor is the next senior politician in their sights as they lobby the Treasury to back the projects.
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The Treasury said the Mr Osborne would be visiting to county to see how the government's 'long term economic plan is delivering road improvements'.
He is expected to also hear more about the proposed £86.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NNDR) bypass to help ease congestion in Norfolk.
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But the visit to the region will also allow him to 'consider the case for prioritising further investment here in next month's Autumn Statement', the Treasury said.
A spokesman said: 'On Monday the prime minister announced that the government will invest £15 billion to improve some of the most crucial arteries in our country.
'Following that announcement, the chancellor is carrying on a tour to some of the most important road schemes in the country and meeting local businesses to hear how further investment could help generate economic growth and to evaluate the case for prioritising certain projects for next month's Autumn Statement.'
Meanwhile Labour's rail spokesman has said there is a 'strong case' for investment in the Great Eastern Main Line.
Lilian Greenwood said she would be reading the business case for the line on her way to visit Norwich today, and she would be hearing from Norwich candidates Jessica Asato and Clive Lewis, as well as the local enterprise partnership chairman Mark Pendlington.
But while Ms Greenwood acknowledged the shortcomings on the line, she stopped short of committing to the investment if Labour wins power, adding that she would be interested to hear what Mr Osborne announced in the Autumn Statement.
The rail taskforce wants the government to stump up the half a billion pounds for improvements to the track, but Ms Greenwood said that while there was a 'strong case' she was 'sure there will be lots of other investments needed across the railways.
'We have to look at what the priorities are,' she added.
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