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Tory councillor blasts his own party's transport secretary over lack of A47 progress

Stuart Clancy, Conservative county councillor for Taverham. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Stuart Clancy, Conservative county councillor for Taverham. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Norfolk Conservatives

A Conservative councillor launched a blistering attack on his own party's 'incompetent' transport secretary, blaming him for failing to ensure progress on improvements to the A47 in Norfolk.

The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. Pic: Highways England.The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. Pic: Highways England.

Furious MPs, councillors and business leaders last month accused Highways England of "going backwards", after it emerged key improvements to the A47 were facing delays.

Highways England had said they need to look again at the designs for the Vauxhall and Gapton roundabouts at Great Yarmouth - because of the potential traffic impact from the mooted Third River Crossing.

That will delay work starting on improvements to those junctions, which are part of the government's £300m package for the A47. It was originally hoped work would start in 2018/19.

Frustrated Norfolk County Council representatives are tomorrow due to meet Highways England at Westminster to press the importance of getting improvements.

Pledged improvements include dualling the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham and from East Tuddenham to Easton, along with junction improvements at the Thickthorn roundabout, which has recently been out for public consultation.

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But, at a meeting of the council's infrastructure and development committee on Wednesday, Conservative councillors Bev Spratt and Stuart Clancy blasted the lack of progress.

Mr Clancy said: "The whole economy of Norfolk is counting on getting the A47 dualled and I think this has been a complete joke.

"There may be one positive to come from a Boris Johnson government - we could lose transport secretary Chris Grayling, because he has been totally incompetent.

"He has allowed Highways England to perform incompetently.

"They are not getting a grip on this and our MPs have not done a good job, all of them, in making this happen. The reality is it is not happening and it has been so frustrating."

A regional delegation went to London last month to press for the full dualling of the A47 to be included in the next tranche of government funding.

It was part of the Just Dual It! campaign, backed by the EDP, the county council and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

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