A47 included in £15b road scheme

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Improvements to the A47 are to be included within a £15 billion road-building programme which was announced by the Prime Minister last week.

North East Cambridgeshire MP Steven Barclay has welcomed David Cameron’s inclusion of the A47 within a speech at the CBI annual conference in London.

Full details of the improvements are not likely to be revealed until next month when chancellor George Osborne gives his autumn statement.

Mr Barclay said: “The fact that the Prime Minister has singled out the A47 for investment is a hugely positive step.

“The Government has made it clear that it has committed £15 billion to improve transport links in the next parliament and it is essential that we compile the case to ensure that the Wisbech to Thorney section benefits from that money.

“We have a long way to go.”

Earlier this year, Mr Barclay secured £1 million to go towards the costs of a feasibility study on the A47 improvements.

More details of the government’s plans, which cover the period between 2015 and 2020, are expected to be revealed in chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement on December 3.

And the A47 appears to be one of three routes set to win substantial investment, along with the A303 in the south-west and the A1 to the north of Newcastle.

And national press reports this week have suggested the spending will be focused on areas where marginal seats are due to be contested at next year’s general election, including Peterborough, Norwich and Yarmouth.

Improvements to the A47 around West Norfolk are not expected to be included within the scheme.

The news has also been welcomed by Wisbech Town Council leader David Oliver, who is also a cabinet member for Fenland District Council.

He said: “For the many years I have been in Wisbech, the one thing people are always discussing is the A47 and how it cane be improved to bring more people to the area and relive the congestion on the route.

“We have a single lane carriageway between Guyhirn and Wisbech which causes problems. If there is a problem, there is no way around the A47 without going on a 40 to 50 mile detour.

“Improvements to that road network would be beneficial to the whole area.”

The A47 Alliance, which includes local politicians and business leaders, has been lobbying for the road to be dualled for a number of years.