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Calls for new bridge over A47 set to get backing from county councillors

PUBLISHED: 16:49 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:58 05 October 2018

The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. Pic: Highways England.

The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. Pic: Highways England.

Highways England

Calls for a new crossing over the A47 to better connect two villages as part of the multi-million pound dualling of the road look likely to be backed by Norfolk County Council.

Consultation is under way which would see the single carriageway between Blofield and North Burlingham replaced with a new dual carriageway to the south of the existing road.

Highways England revealed proposals last month, but there was disappointment in nearby villages that the plans did not include a crossing to better link North Burlingham and Lingwood.

At the launch of the consultation, project manager Lizzie Cooper said, while Highways England is still looking at the possibility of a crossing, surveys of the area revealed that not many people cross the road there.

But hundreds of people have signed a petition saying that, if an A47 crossing was provided, along with a footpath extension towards Acle, they would use it.

And their call for a crossing or bridge looks likely to be backed by members of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee on Friday next week.

In a report which will go before councillors, David Cumming, the council’s principal infrastructure planner, said the A47 had historically been a “barrier” which put people off from walking between Burlingham and Lingwood - hence the low numbers in Highways England’s survey.

He said: “The A47 Dualling Scheme has the opportunity to change this and with the right improvements can significantly enhance the Rights of Way network in this area.”

He said “the most important improvement” Highways England could make would be a footbridge across the A47 to connect two footpaths and “provide a much-needed missing link”.

Councillors will be asked to back the principle of the A47 dualling between Blofield and North Burlingham, but to agree issues to raise in County Hall’s official response to the Highways England consultation.

The consultation, runs until midnight on Friday October 19, at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a47-blofield-to-north-burlingham

If the project does go ahead, then work would start in 2021 and the new section of road would be completed in 2022.

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