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Underpass and new bridges in vision for Thickthorn Roundabout overhaul

PUBLISHED: 11:32 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:43 22 July 2020

A diagram showing the latest vision for the Thickthorn Roundabout. Picture: Highways England

A diagram showing the latest vision for the Thickthorn Roundabout. Picture: Highways England

Highways England

Two new bridges and an underpass allowing motorists to get from the A11 onto the A47 at Thickthorn without using the roundabout has been mooted in the latest vision for the notoriously busy junction.

Thickthorn interchange roundabout.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThickthorn interchange roundabout. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Highways England has been exploring ways to improve the Thickthorn Interchange for more than three years, as part of a £300m revamp of the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth.

And now it has unveiled its latest ideas, which it said would shave up to six minutes off journey times and significantly reduce the number of accidents that happen there.

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.

Easter Monday misery as traffic builds on the A47 queuing for the Thickthorn junction to get on the A11. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEaster Monday misery as traffic builds on the A47 queuing for the Thickthorn junction to get on the A11. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The revisions come after a number of consultation events were held last summer, which saw more than 230 people submit comments and more than 500 people attend an exhibition of the original proposals.

Peter Havlicek, Highways England’s programme leader for the A47, said: “We’ve continued to refine our plans for the A47, so we can deliver the best possible improvement for this junction.

“We know that there is a lot of support for this improvement, and these changes show how we’re taking on board people’s feedback to deliver what is needed.

“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.”

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for transport Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMartin Wilby, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for transport Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Further proposed changes to the junction, which is used by 53,000 motorists a day, include new traffic lights on the B1172 arm of the roundabout and a new bridge connecting Cantley Road South with the Norwich Road.

The scheme, which will require government permission to go ahead, is hoped to be completed by 2024 if it is given the green light.

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Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “We are pleased to see Highways England make further progress on this much-needed scheme. We look forward to seeing more detail and will continue to work with local parish councils to get the best scheme for Norfolk.

“Alongside the A47 Alliance we remain clear in our calls for full dualling of the A47, and we will continue to push Highways England to speed along the improvements they have already committed to on the A47.”


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