Could dualling the A47 bring a much-needed bypass to West Norfolk?

The A47 at Middleton. Picture: Ian Burt

The A47 at Middleton. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Dualling the A47 in West Norfolk could be the key to bringing a long awaited bypass villagers have wanted for decades.

The Carpenter's Arms next to the A47 at East Winch. Picture: Ian Burt

The Carpenter's Arms next to the A47 at East Winch. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

The reasons are obvious when visiting Middleton and East Winch, near King's Lynn, where the A47 Lynn Road cuts through the centre of communities.

The edge of the road meets directly with the peoples' front gardens and the graveyards of St Mary and All Saints Church borders along its route.

Many houses lie to the north of the A47 so children have to cross the road to get to school.

The route between King's Lynn and Middleton has seen a number of serious and fatal accidents - most recently in January, when two men died in a head-on collision at Constitution Hill.

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Villagers are hoping the dualling of the A47 could bring the much-needed bypass but broken promises have left them feeling doubtful.

Elizabeth Barclay, who lives in Tower End with husband Julian, fears a dualled A47 could bring more traffic to Middleton. 'I do not personally think it is going to happen,' she said. 'All of the planning for the bypass was never sorted out. 'With the new housing in North Runcton nobody has thought where this bypass will go.'

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Mrs Barclay said she has been living in Middleton for 43 years and believes more cars over the years have made the roads unsafe, including the A47.

'I know a lot of people want the bypass,' she added. 'It will make things safer for children crossing the road.'

Accidents on the A47 in West Norfolk have previously caused tailbacks stretching miles and brought traffic to a standstill for hours on end.

Alastair Drohan, general manager at Middleton Steakhouse, said accidents and even roadworks led to customers not being able to make reservations as there was no way of them getting home.

'It has certainly affected our business,' said Mr Drohan. 'And for some staff who travel on the A47 a one-hour journey sometimes takes two.

'I've had people who were late for tables because of hold ups and sometimes they shut the road and put in diversions.'

Mr Drohan said he supported the campaign to dual the A47, adding: 'A bypass would make it easier for people to come through.'

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