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Warning A47 Thickthorn revamp would 'take Norfolk in wrong direction on climate change'

PUBLISHED: 10:50 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:50 26 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

The mooted revamp of the Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich should be opposed because it would "drive a coach and horses" through attempts to cut carbon emissions, say Green councillors.

Green city councillors say the scheme at the A47/A11 junction, currently being consulted on by Highways England, would "take Norfolk further in the wrong direction on climate change".

The proposals, 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 existing roundabout will be upgraded to incorporate a fourth lane on the southern section.

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

- 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.

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But Lesley Grahame, Green city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, told a meeting of Norwich City Council: "This scheme would take Norfolk further in the wrong direction on climate change.

Green city councillor Lesley Grahame. Picture: David Hannant`Green city councillor Lesley Grahame. Picture: David Hannant`

"In addition, there would be a cumulative increase in carbon emissions if the A47 Tuddenham to Easton dualling and the Western Link proceed also.

"This increase in carbon emissions would drive a coach and horses through the council resolution passed to make the city of Norwich carbon neutral as soon as possible."

She said measures to reduce traffic flows and encourage bus use made more sense.

But Mike Stonard, Labour cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth, said: "I personally believe it would be very wrong for the city council to lodge an objection to the long overdue improvements.

Mike Stonard, Labour cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth at Norwich City Council. Pic: Archant.Mike Stonard, Labour cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth at Norwich City Council. Pic: Archant.

"I stand by the commitment for the council to become carbon neutral, however it would be naïve to think that not improving the Thickthorn junction would help the situation."

The consultation at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/A47Thickthorn runs until Thursday, July 11,

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