What’s with all those cones by the side of the A47?
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A set of traffic cones in a Norfolk field is giving drivers a glimpse of the route for a due-to-be dualled section of the A47.
The cones have appeared in a field close to North Burlingham, which is one of six sections on the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth where work is due to take place as part of a £300m package of upgrades.
The section of the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham is still a single carriageway and acts as a bottleneck. That leads to congestion, increasing journey times.
It also has a poor safety record, with 33 crashes between October 2011 and 2016, including a death, so it was selected as one of the sections of the road which will be dualled.
Following consultation, the public said they wanted to see a new dual carriageway built to the south of the existing A47.
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Highways England has been proceeding with that option, which they say can be built with the least disruption to drivers during construction and has the least impact on the environment.
They say that the cones are part of ground investigation work alongside the route of the proposed new road, ahead of another round of statutory consultation over the changes.
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Following that, work is due to start in 2020 and the scheme could be completed and open to traffic in 2023.
The other schemes in Norfolk are: • Creating a new dual carriageway section between North Tuddenham and Easton
• Making improvements to both the Vauxhall and Gapton junctions in Great Yarmouth
• Improvements to the A47/A11 Thickthorn roundabout
But the Eastern Daily Press has been pushing for the government to pledge to fund full dualling of the A47. The Just Dual It! campaign, is being run with Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce,
Currently just 47pc of the route is dual carriageway and despite the £300m of work which is planned, it will still leave substantial sections of the A47 as single carriageway with no current plans to dual them.
The campaign, which has won backing from the public and businesses, wants the government to commit to make funding available to dual the entire length of the A47 by 2030.
And it calls for dualling of the Acle Straight and from Tilney to East Winch between 2020 and 2025.