Transport talks over Norfolk road cash

An MP and Norfolk transport officials are set to meet with regional assembly chiefs next week in a bid to push for greater investment in roads and to complete dualling of the A11.

An MP and Norfolk transport officials are set to meet with regional assembly chiefs next week in a bid to push for greater investment in roads and to complete dualling of the A11.

Christopher Fraser, MP for south west Norfolk, will hold talks with the chief executives of the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) and the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) at Westminster on Monday to discuss the county's infrastructure problems.

The meeting comes after the government's transport minister Stephen Ladyman told a House of Commons debate in December that local MPs should lobby regional officials over delays to the A11 dualling scheme between Barton Mills/Fiveways and Thetford.

As previously reported by the EDP, the £101m project, which was scheduled to start in 2008, was put back to beyond 2011 last year following a recommendation by EERA.

Mr Fraser, who is campaigning for the government to take responsibility of nationally important road schemes, will be calling on the two unelected regional bodies to give the A11 dualling higher priority as well as improvements to the A47 and an A11 junction at Attleborough.

“I have long campaigned for proper investment in Norfolk's road infrastructure, and for completion of the remaining stretch of the A11 between Thetford and Barton Mills, which leaves Norfolk the only county in England without a dual carriageway link to the national trunk road system.”

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“The intention of the meeting is to finally unravel where the responsibility lies and to bring a swift resolution to this long-running problem. As I see, the problems we face in Norfolk are of national importance, and I want to the government to wake up to its responsibilities in this respect,” he said.

Officials from Norfolk County Council and Shaping Norfolk's Future Transport Group will also be attending Monday's meeting.

John Reynolds, chairman of EERA's planning panel, previously told the EDP that he would be happy to meet with local MPs, but it was “almost pointless” because the government controlled the purse strings and had given the East of England a “grossly inadequate” £778m for transport schemes over the next ten years.