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Business leaders to call on government to dual A47 in Norfolk

Business leaders at a Norfolk Chamber of Commerce networking event lend their support to the campaign to dual the A47. Photo: Philippa Bindley

Business leaders at a Norfolk Chamber of Commerce networking event lend their support to the campaign to dual the A47. Photo: Philippa Bindley

Archant

Business leaders have said the poor state of the A47 is holding back their firms.

Now an influential group is calling on businesses held up to make their voices heard by directly tweeting government ministers.

At a business breakfast held by the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce at Great Yarmouth Racecourse on Thursday morning, the A47 Alliance called for the government to fund the dualling of the route from Peterborough in the west to Lowestoft in the east.

The event was hosted by this newspaper’s editor David Powles who backed the calls for the road to be upgraded.

Mr Powles said: “For too long Norfolk has been held up by poor transport. Unreliable roads means the county doesn’t function as the gateway to growth that it should be.”

Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s transport committee Martin Wilby said: “We’re desperate for investment along the A47 to support business and tourism.”

Nova Fairbank from the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce said Norfolk should be unapologetic about what it wants.
Norfolk County Council’s principal infrastructure planner David Cumming said the ultimate ambition was for 100-miles of the route between Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk to be fully dualled without any roundabouts along the way.

A bid is being prepared for the government’s next funding round for roads spending from 2020 and the seven-mile stretch between Acle and Great Yarmouth is near the top of the list of priorities from the A47 Alliance.

Other priorities include dualling the section from Tilney to East Winch in west Norfolk and in Cambridgeshire from Guyhirn to Wisbech, where junction improvements will also be asked for.

The alliance is made up of the region’s MPs, local authority leaders and businesses working together to lobby for improvements and they have already lobbied for a £300m

They are already looking at a later bid with Breckland Council to develop a case to dual the section of road between Swaffham and Dereham.

Mr Cumming said it was the next logical step, adding: “If the Acle Straight is dualled and the section near King’s Lynn is then there’s a big bit middle of Norfolk that isn’t.”

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