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MPs put pressure on government over money for further work on A47

PUBLISHED: 22:00 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:54 24 January 2020

Traffic on the Acle Straight. Photo: James Bass

Traffic on the Acle Straight. Photo: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

A group of MPs from across the eastern region have called on the government to commit more money for vital improvements to the A47.

Conservative North West Norfolk MP James Wild. Picture: Ally McGilvrayConservative North West Norfolk MP James Wild. Picture: Ally McGilvray

And they are backing calls for work already promised for projects to get under way.

The letter from all eight Norfolk Conservatives MPs, along with MPs from Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, aims to put pressure on transport secretary Grant Shapps.

Mr Shapps and his department are currently mulling over where to invest billions of pounds in the next tranche of cash for infrastructure - the Road Investment Strategy.

The MPs are supporting the Just Dual It! campaign run by the Eastern Daily Press along with Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Chamber of Commerce for full dualling of the road.

But it specifically highlights three strategic locations along the A47:

- Dualling the Acle Straight to Great Yarmouth

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- Dualling Tilney to East Winch in west Norfolk, including the Hardwick flyover at King's Lynn

- Dualling between the A16 junction east of Peterborough and Walton Highway, near Wisbech

The letter states that investing in those schemes would unlock 125,000 homes, create 75,000 jobs and bring a multi-million pound boost to the economy, helping cut delays and congestion.

James Wild, MP for North West Norfolk, said: "Now is the right moment for an infrastructure revolution.

"We have come together as MPs representing constituencies that rely on the A47 to make the case for more investment that will boost jobs and growth.

"By backing these schemes we can make a real difference for businesses and people across the east of England and help spread prosperity."

The letter also backed calls from Norfolk County Council for the traffic regulator to intervene over the lack of physical work on £300m of improvements to the A47 for which money was awarded in 2014.

The council said Highways England's progress on schemes, such as dualling between Blofield and North Burlingham, Easton and North Tuddenham, plus work on junctions at Thickthorn and Great Yarmouth has been "agonisingly slow".

Highways England says it "shares" the eagerness to get work done.

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