Boris: A47 Acle Straight dualling under ‘active consideration’
PUBLISHED: 13:42 30 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:56 30 September 2020
The long called for dualling of the A47 Acle Straight is under “active consideration”, prime minister Boris Johnson said today.
Earlier this month, Highways England announced the scheme would not be brought forward under the government’s next wave of road improvement schemes until at least 2030.
The news met with outcry in the region, with campaigners frustrated they would not see the road dualled in their lifetimes.
It came after prime minister Mr Johnson pledged he would get the road dualled during an interview with the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) ahead of the December 2019 general election.
But during prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons, on Wednesday, September 30, Jerome Mayhew, Broadland MP, asked the prime minister if this “inexplicable decision would be revisited”.
He said: “The A47 Acle Straight is the main road - in fact the only road - that links Great Yarmouth to the great city of Norwich.
“It’s a bottleneck and it’s notoriously dangerous and there’s been a campaign to dual it for at least thirty years.
“And yet the Highways Authority have just announced they have no plans even to consider it for upgrade until at least 2030.
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“What can he do to give hope to the people of Broadland and Norfolk more widely that this inexplicable decision will be revisited?”
Mr Johnson said the government was “immensely ambitious” about upgrading the country’s road infrastructure.
He told the House: “I appreciate the temporary disappointment that he is experiencing but this is a government that is immensely ambitious for the improvement of our transport infrastructure.”
And he added: “Active consideration is now being undertaken of that project again.
“I understand that parliamentary colleagues are meeting with Baroness Vere, the roads minister, this week to discuss the options for additional schemes from 2025 onwards.”
Martin Wilby, chair of the A47 Alliance and Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “The fact that the dualling of the A47 Acle Straight remains very much on the government’s agenda is welcome news.
“It shows that the case for vital infrastructure improvements in Norfolk is being heard, and is heartening particularly on the back of the government’s recent go-ahead for the Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing.
“Study after study has shown that full dualling of the A47 would bring hundreds of millions of pounds of benefits to the regional economy through new employment, enhanced productivity and lower costs.
“Dualling of the Acle Straight is an important part of that goal so we very much look forward to working with MPs to make this happen and to bring these long awaited safety improvements into fruition.”
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