Major revamp of Thickthorn junction a step closer as bid is lodged
- Credit: Archant
A major revamp of one of the busiest junctions in Norfolk has moved a step closer, with plans to overhaul it now formally lodged.
The Thickthorn Interchange, where the county's two busiest roads - the A11 and the A47 - meet is used by thousands of people every day as they commute in and out of Norwich.
In July, Highways England unveiled a proposed overhaul for the junction as part of a £300m raft of changes to the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth.
These included the addition of two new bridges and an underpass allowing people to get onto the A11 from the A47 without using the roundabout.
Now, these plans have moved a step closer, with a development consent order submitted to the government by the highways body looking for the all-clear for the works.
A spokesman for Highways England confirmed the plans submitted were in keeping with the designs unveiled last year, with no alterations made following public feedback on the proposals.
The proposals include a new slip road off the A11 northbound, before the roundabout, which will take motorists beneath both roads before rejoining traffic on the A47 heading towards Great Yarmouth - eliminating the need to use the roundabout.
The complete overhaul of the roundabout 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.
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The fate of the revamp now rests with the government, with the Planning Inspectorate due to consider the application before making recommendations to the secretary of state for transport, who will ultimately determine the bid.
Martin Wilby, chairman of the A47 Alliance campaign group, said: "I'm really pleased - this is a big step in the right direction for a junction where we all regularly get held up. This will make a massive difference.
"I welcome other schemes of improvement for the road but we really need the whole of the A47 fully dualled from Great Yarmouth all the way to Peterborough, which would bring huge benefits to the whole of Norfolk and the surrounding area."
Should permission then be granted, Highways England hopes to complete the project by autumn 2024.
Highways England expects to hear if the application has been accepted by Wednesday, April 28.