Long Stratton bypass cash welcomed as ‘green light’ for A140 scheme
PUBLISHED: 13:52 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:13 01 October 2019
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
An announcement that the A140 Long Stratton bypass will get £500,000 to help build up the business case for the multi-million scheme has been welcomed.
The government announced that the project is one of the schemes which will get a share of £100m - although the money is £500,000 to develop the business case rather than funding the £29m cost of the bypass.
But Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, at Norfolk County Council described the decision as a "very welcome green light" for the bypass.
He said: "We have made clear that we will be seeking the majority of the estimated £29m cost of the bypass from the Department for Transport, so it is a great step forward to get this go-ahead to move the project to the stage where full funding can be secured.
"The announcement keeps the project on track for construction to start in 2022.
"We're clear that the A140 Long Stratton bypass will relieve the traffic congestion that drivers have had to face for so many years, and is set to help to create 625 new jobs and 1,800 new homes.
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"We will now start work on the detailed business case for the bypass, and are hopeful of similar positive news for three other projects that recently secured regional backing; the Norwich Western Link, West Winch Housing Access Road and a redesign of the A47/A17 Pullover junction."
Long Stratton Bypass would be a new 2.5-mile single carriageway section of the A140 to relieve traffic through the centre of the South Norfolk town.
John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said: "This is obviously welcome. We are not starting from scratch and we've got £10m for this road from the City Deal funding.
"This is not just about Long Stratton, important though that is. It's about linking the two regional centres of Norwich and Ipswich, which can't fulfil their potential when traffic is crawling along at a snail's pace, with people breathing in fumes."
Earlier this year, the Long Stratton bypass was named as a regional priority by Transport East, the sub-national body which covers Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Southend-on-Sea.
But Catherine Rowett, Green Party MEP for the Eastern Region, criticised the government for its focus on road-building.
She said: "We are experiencing a climate emergency. The old politics of the last century cannot continue.
"We need sustainable alternatives to the car. The new roads that have been outlined by the chancellor are akin to environmental vandalism and economic folly."
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