Pressure to be kept up over dualling Acle Straight, as Norfolk councillor likens road to ‘cart track in Romania’
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
The government must not be allowed to forget how vital dualling the A47 is to Great Yarmouth's prosperity, according to county councillors - one of whom likened the road to a 'cart track in Romania'.
While the government recently pledged £300m for A47 improvements, there was no commitment to dualling the notorious Acle Straight.
That led Labour county councillor Mick Castle, who represents Yarmouth North and Central, to propose a motion at yesterday's meeting of Norfolk County Council.
He called for the council to re-affirm its 'strong support' for the dualling of the Acle Straight and to pledge to do all in its power to ensure it ends up in the government's highways programme.
The motion also called for the council to seek to designate a narrow strip of grazing land between the existing road and the Yarmouth to Acle railway line as a 'highways corridor' which the road could be built on.
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The motion also sought to work with other agencies to get an alignment for the road at the Acle roundabout.
A Conservative amendment, which would have removed the latter two parts of the motion was lost.
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Alison Thomas, Conservative councillor for Long Stratton, had said she feared seeking to designate specific land for the road could create a 'ransom strip'. She said: 'There might be someone outside this council rubbing their hands with glee that we might need to buy their land to extend the road.'
But the original motion was approved.
Mr Castle said nothing less than full dualling of the road would prevent deaths and aid the economic prosperity of Great Yarmouth, He said: 'It hampers our ability to bring in inward investment. And in terms of injuries, it continues to be a blackspot. All too frequently the A47 is closed to traffic and that's not good for local businesses.'
And Jonathon Childs, UKIP councillor for East Flegg, said: 'It's a scandal. We are the poor relations in Norfolk. The infrastructure is falling apart and that's because people get stuck on the road.
'The road is a disgrace and it is more like a cart track in Romania.'
Great Yarmouth Conservative MP Brandon Lewis had previously said the restructuring of the Vauxhall Roundabout on the route into the town would help to ease congestion on the Acle Straight.