A47 wish list passes Fenland by

Fenland looks set to be snubbed after the district was left off a wish-list of upgrades to the A47.

Improvements including dualling the stretch of road between Guyhirn and Wisbech have been missed off a list of schemes set to receive more than £500 million of Government funding later this year.

Only a new roundabout on the A141/A47 Guyhirn – to be built at a cost of up to £16million – is included in Fenland, with most of the A47 Alliance investment going to Norfolk.

The news came on Wednesday, when the A47 Alliance Feasibility Study group met in Norwich.

Representatives from councils across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire attended the meeting, but there was no-one from Fenland District Council.

A council spokesman said they were not invited even though it was agreed in May that Fenland Council should be invited in future.

The Highways Agency and Department for Transport have both admitted their mistake and apologised to the council, and assured it will be invited to all the group’s future meetings.

Meanwhile, North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay is now demanding answers over the predicted cost of dualling the Guyhirn to Wisbech stretch of the busy through route, which appear to have risen from £61million to £160million-£320million.

He has accused the Highways Agency and Cambridgeshire County Council of inflating the potential costs of dualling the section of the A47, which has the highest numbers of HGVs on the road, by comparing it to a significant scheme on the A1 to Sutton stretch which includes a footbridge.

He said: “They appear to be inflating the cost of the Wisbech scheme as a way of justifying inaction.”