Dedicated to dualling the A47
The A47 Alliance demonstrated the importance of dualling at their parliamentary reception
Connecting Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft to Peterborough and Norwich, the A47 is an east-west lifeline. But less than half of this major trunk road is dual carriageway.
The A47 Alliance, a group of organisations and politicians from Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk is campaigning for major dualling along the route. At their parliamentary reception on 25 June, they raised the importance of further investment.
Chair of the A47 Alliance, Cllr Martin Wilby, opened the reception by explaining the importance of improvements beyond the £300m pledged to the A47 in Road Investment Strategy (RIS) 1.
He outlined three major projects the Alliance was focused on for RIS2. Dualling the Acle Straight, the Tilney to East Winch section and dualling from Peterborough to Wisbech.
Managing director of Jack Richards & Son, Peter Brown, highlighted the impact of disruptions to the supply chain caused by poor road networks. Single carriageways can quickly become blocked, meaning businesses suffer extra costs when goods take longer to be delivered.
He said, "We need the government to invest in dualling the whole of the A47 now, before Norfolk loses the last of its large-scale manufacturing plants"
Road transport minister Michael Ellis MP said he recognised the value of the A47 with regards to the economy and east-west movement.
He said, "I look forward to reading the new information from the Alliance because this will help us formulate this very important project that we are working on at the moment at the department of transport, our second road investment strategy".
After speaking on the event's panel, RHA area manager Phillip Scotney reviewed the reception. "It is recognised that the A47 has a number of congestion hotspots around Norwich, Peterborough and Great Yarmouth. These result in delays and concerns regarding safety for all road users.
"There has been 180 deaths and serious injuries on the A47 between 2011 and 2015. It's a fragmented road that goes from single carriageway to sometimes dualled carriageway, driver frustration is a factor. The current slow journey times discourage investment in the area and industry.
In the words of the Transport Minister, "Safety is my top priority and I look at that first and foremost. I recognise the value to the economy and how the right infrastructure is very important to the wider economy".
With a RIS2 announcement expected in the autumn, time will tell if the A47 receives the funding it desperately needs.
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