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People given say over multi-million revamp for A47 Thickthorn roundabout

PUBLISHED: 13:24 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:24 13 June 2019

The Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich. Pic: Highways England.

The Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich. Pic: Highways England.

Highways England

Events where people can have their say over the multi-million pound proposals for a major revamp of a key junction on the A47 have begun.

Highways England announced its preferred option for upgrading the Thickthorn interchange, on the edge of Norwich, two years ago, as part of a £300m series of upgrades along the A47 corridor.

But it acknowledged it needed to find a solution to deal with fears about potential rat-running in Cantley Lane South - and recently tweaked its designs for a final stint of consultation before plans are lodged.

The changes to the junction, which could cost up to £50m, include:

- Two one-way link roads for drivers heading from the northbound A11 to the eastbound A47, and from the westbound A47 to the southbound A11. That will see three underpasses built under the A11, the A47 westbound and the A47 eastbound and will mean traffic can completely bypass Thickthorn roundabout.

The plans for the Thickthorn junction. Picture: Highways England.The plans for the Thickthorn junction. Picture: Highways England.

- The existing roundabout will be upgraded to incorporate a fourth lane on the southern section. Traffic signals will be installed at the junction with the B1172.

- Junctions from Cantley Lane to the A11 and A47 will be closed, with a new link road connecting Cantley Lane South to the B1172 Norwich Road via two bridges.

- A new footbridge over the A47 for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, replacing the existing footbridge which will be demolished.

Bosses at Highways England says, depending on the planning process, work could start in 2021 and the changes could be complete by 2023.

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And they say it would improve journey times by up to six minutes for the 53,000 drivers who use the roundabout daily, while also making the junction safer by reducing the number of accidents there.

Consultation runs until Thursday, July 11, but Highways England are also holding a number of events where people can meet the team behind the plans.

The first one was held in Hethersett on Monday and the team will be in Ketteringham Village Hall from 1pm until 8pm today (Thursday, June 13).

Tomorrow (Friday, June 14), they will be in the Willow Centre in Willowcroft Way, Cringleford, from 1pm to 8pm and on Saturday (June 15), they will be at 47, St Giles Street in Norwich, from 11am until 5pm.

Peter Havlicek, Highways England programme lead for the A47, said: "We've refined these plans since our previous consultation, and it's really important that we hear your views, so we can deliver the best possible improvement for this junction.

"We've already amended the plans from what we presented in 2017 to address some of the concerns raised, and now we're keen to hear people's thoughts so we can continue to shape our proposals.

"People can tell us what they think about the plans, what their concerns are, what they think could be changed, and also how they think the work should be done, by keeping disruption to a minimum and spreading the project over a longer period, or getting it completed as swiftly as possible.

"We know that there is a lot of support for this improvement, and we hope users participate fully in this next stage consultation too to help refine our plans for this investment and deliver the best road.

This upgraded junction is one of six schemes we'll be doing to improve the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth, and it's important that we get it right for road users and the affected communities."

People can have their say at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/A47Thickthorn, by writing to Freepost A47 Thickthorn Junction, or by completing one of the forms available at the public events.

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