‘Now get on with it’: Norfolk County Council gives its verdict on all the proposed improvements to the A47
- Credit: Matthew Usher
'Now get on with it'. That is the message to Highways England about long-awaited improvement work on the A47.
Norfolk County Council has submitted its response to the organisation's consultation on its proposals for the trunk road in the county, which are due to start in 2020.
The council said it supported the improvements in principle - but warned that they were just a 'step towards achieving the goal' of fully dualling the notorious road.
It also offered to work with Highways England to ensure the schemes took into account 'local issues and impacts on local networks'.
That is a reference to a number of issues that have been raised by communities that line the route and which would be impacted by the changes.
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The council's response added that it wanted to work with Highways England and the government 'to ensure that the schemes are fully delivered; and that they are delivered at the earliest opportunity'.
In responding to the individual schemes, the comments include:
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? Easton to North Tuddenham dualling
The council fully supports a dual carriageway being created and would support the junctions at either end being grade-separated (using a flyover bridge or underpass) in order to improve the flow along the A47. The council also wishes to understand how the junctions would provide access to growth proposals in the area, including the Food Hub, existing and proposed housing at Easton and the potential Norwich Western Link (linking the Norwich Northern Distributor Road with the A47 west of Norwich).
? Thickthorn junction
The council fully supports an improvement at Thickthorn junction 'to overcome the current and likely future issues'. The council says 'the proposed solution removes major traffic movements from the junction completely and appears to be preferable to solutions that seek to better manage all traffic through the junction'.
? Blofield to Burlingham dualling
The council fully supports a dual carriageway being created 'to overcome the current and likely future issues; in particular congestion and safety'. It would support grade-separated junctions that would improve the flow of traffic and overcome safety issues 'which are particularly prevalent at the B1140 junction'.
? Great Yarmouth junctions
The council fully supports an improvement at the Vauxhall junction to overcome current and likely future issues. It added: 'The proposed improvements at Vauxhall Junction should be designed so as to ensure that the revised junction is capable of incorporating future dualling of the Acle Straight; both in terms of its ability to accommodate traffic flows as well as in terms of its physical alignment'.
It also said it could 'see no reason' why a proposed new right turn out of Great Yarmouth Railway Station and Asda onto the Acle New Road could not be completed in advance of the other A47 schemes and implemented as soon as possible.
Regarding the Gapton junction and Harfreys, Bridge Road and James Paget junctions, the council said it wanted to understand how Highways England had taken into account the county council's plan to create a third river crossing in the town.