Parishes clash over merits of dualling the A47
- Credit: Highways England
A plan to dual part of the A47 in Norfolk has come under the spotlight - but parishes are at loggerheads over the merits of the scheme.
And environmental campaigners have called for Highways England to scrap proposals to spend £300m on improvements to the A47 in six places between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth.
Highways England needs to secure development consent orders for work between North Tuddenham and Easton, and Blofield and North Burlingham
Planning inspectors are holding hearings to help determine what recommendations to make to the secretary of state.
Thursday, August 12 saw a hearing about dualling the stretch between North Tuddenham and Easton.
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That includes more than five and a half miles of new dual carriageway between Hockering and Honingham.
There would also be two new junctions at the Wood Lane/Berry's Lane and Norwich Road/Blind Lane junctions, alongside the removal of the Easton roundabout.
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A number of side roads would be closed, including Church Lane in Lower Easton - a move welcomed by Easton Parish Council members.
Easton parish councillor Peter Milliken told planning inspector Adrian Hunter said: "These A47 proposals are vital for our community to improve the lives of residents, not just in Lower Easton, but the whole of Easton."
But Weston Longville Parish Council and Hockering Parish Council have raised concerns that closing Church Lane and Taverham Road could lead to more traffic in their direction.
But Ben Moye, acting chairman of Easton Parish Council, said: "When other parish councils from outside our communities want to sacrifice our wellbeing, it is time to speak out."
However, Richard Hawker, a member of Hockering Parish Council and of the Wensum Valley Alliance, said: "The previous residents seem to feel that Hockering and other parishes want them to continue having excess traffic and nothing is further from the truth.
"We do not want to see that continue. What is needed is a side road strategy which benefits all the local villages."
Mr Millken said there had been extensive consultation to come up with the current plans, but Mr Hawker said it had been "late and lacking".
Andrew Cawdron, from the Wensum Valley Alliance, said: "I don't know why we are discussing roads in the middle of a climate emergency.
"I would plead for reason to prevail and for these road schemes to be cancelled."
Further hearings will take place in due course, while next week will see hearings over proposals for the Blofield to North Burlingham stretch.