Inquiry into A47 road changes could cost up to £200k

The proposed route of the Postwick Hub marked out in the fields near Norwich. Picture: Mike Page

The proposed route of the Postwick Hub marked out in the fields near Norwich. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

A public inquiry into controversial changes to the A47 on the edge of Norwich could cost as much as £200,000.

Norfolk County Council and the Highways Agency want to make changes to the A47 to the east of Norwich to create what they have called the Postwick Hub.

A public inquiry into those changes will be held next month and could last up to two weeks.

The proposed changes would see the closure of A47 slip roads, including those leading on and off Yarmouth Road and the creation of new roads.

The hub is also seen as the gateway to the northern bypass, which would run from there to the A1067 Fakenham Road.

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But there are a number of objectors, who have drawn up 10 alternative routes. Among those objecting are the Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group, Stop Norwich Urbanisation, Great and Little Plumstead Parish Council, Thorpe St Andrew Parish Council and the Cyclists Touring Club.

Tony Clarke, from the Cyclists Touring Club, is concerned that the cost of the inquiry is soaring and that a delay, caused because the council had not provided traffic information, has added to the bill.

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At a recent council meeting, Mr Clarke asked what the estimated cost of the inquiry would be – and was told if it lasted for 13 days it would add up to about £200,000.

David Harrison, cabinet member for environment, transport, development and waste at the county council, said: 'A significant proportion of the scheme's development costs to date have been funded by the Greater Norwich Development Partnership using Department of Communities and Local Government growth point funding.

'A successful outcome to the public inquiry will enable construction to commence early in 2014, which will also provide much needed jobs to the local construction industry.'

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