Region is unified in call for dualling of A47 from Peterborough to Lowestoft
Representatives from Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk – the three counties the A47 trunk road runs through – stand united in calling for the Government to fully dual the road between Peterborough and Lowestoft.
Members of the A47 Alliance came together at County Hall in Norwich on FridayMay 11 to discuss ongoing efforts to convince the Government to invest in the A47. Currently just 47 per cent of this major route is dual carriageway and while Highways England have committed to making £300m of improvements to the road, including dualling some stretches, and upgrading Guyhirn roundabout, this will still leave substantial sections of the A47 as single carriageway with no current plans to dual them.
The Just Dual It! campaign, which is being led by Norfolk County Council is calling on the Government to commit to make funding available to dual the entire length by 2030.
Since launching at the end of March, the campaign has received more than 2,000 messages of support from residents, businesses and political figures, whose reasons for wanting the route fully dualled range from road safety, shortening journey times and improving journey reliability and creating a better transport link between the east of England and the Midlands and beyond.
At last Friday’s meeting representatives heard updates on the campaign from chairman of the A47 Alliance and Norfolk county councillor Martin Wilby, MP for Mid Norfolk George Freeman and Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer.
James Palmer said: "It frankly beggars belief that in the 21st Century this essential trunk road which joins two major urban areas in Norwich and Peterborough is single carriageway for the majority of the route.
"From day one I have made the A47 one of my key transport infrastructure projects and it was clear from today’s meeting that our friends across the border agree with me that underinvestment on this road from successive governments has held our counties being held back.
"I’ve been really impressed at the sense of unity in Norfolk among council leaders, MPs, businesses and the public generally for getting this road fully dualled. In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough I’m just as ambitious and the Combined Authority has commissioned a business case for full dualling of the road between Peterborough and Wisbech, which will report back in June.
“Dualling the A47 is essential for the future prosperity of the northern part of East Anglia.
“I have been only too pleased to lend my support to the A47 Alliance and the Just Dual It! campaign.I felt the Highways England proposals already on the table – the dualling of 2.5km of road from Wansford to Sutton and improvements at the Guyhirn roundabout by 2021 – were not nearly ambitious enough.
“Big regional campaigns like Just Dual It! really do make a difference to decision makers in Whitehall and I stand ready to make the case for dualling the A47 as loud and as clear as possible on behalf of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”
The importance of dualling the road to the regions’ businesses was also stressed at the meeting, and their support for the campaign is seen as key to getting Westminster to invest in the road.
People can show their support for the campaign to get the A47 fully dualled by tweeting their message and using the hashtag #justdualit or by adding a comment beneath today’s Just Dual It! post on the Norfolk Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/norfolkcc. These messages will be transferred onto a Just Dual It! postcard, which will then be hand-delivered to Westminster in the summer to evidence the strong support that exists for getting the A47 dualled.
For more information about the campaign visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/justdualit.