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Campaigners' transport link fears

PUBLISHED: 11:04 07 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:15 03 July 2010

GREAT Yarmouth will remain cut off from any national strategic transport links just as it tries to make a success of its new port under Government plans which could also threaten the third river crossing.

GREAT Yarmouth will remain cut off from any national strategic transport links just as it tries to make a success of its new port under Government plans which could also threaten the third river crossing.

Campaigners pushing for better road and rail links fear the borough will be left further behind after a government consultation on proposed national links which does not recognise the A47 including the Acle Straight as a significant route.

It means even smaller projects like dualling the Burlingham/Blofield stretch which should have been done in 2007 may not happen for another five years and wipes out the possibility of any funding from Europe.

Even worse it could put back plans for Yarmouth's third river crossing - touted as critical to its economic future.

The Department for Transport is drawing up a list of “strategic national corridors” as part of a consultation on how to improve transport in England beyond 2014 when the crossing is timetabled. Neither the A47 or A11 to Norwich made the shortlist.

Peter Warner, head of planning policy at Yarmouth Borough Council, was concerned about the Acle Straight ditch relocation scheme which was crucial to any future widening or dualling of the stretch and about what the implications could be for the third river crossing.

And Adrian Gunson, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for planning and transportation and chairman of the A47 Alliance, said: “It is very nasty and with the outer harbour coming on stream Yarmouth in particular is being marginalised.”

He added that the A47 Alliance would consider the plans and how to lobby against them when it met on Friday next week.

Peter Barry, managing director of Pasta Foods and chairman of Shaping Norfolk's Future's transport forum, said: “If government expects us to absorb a significant amount of housing growth around Norwich, King's Lynn and Thetford, and get our new port at Yarmouth up and running, there needs to be a rethink on the lack of any strategic transport corridors from Norwich to London and from Yarmouth to the East Midlands.”

Tim Howard, head of regeneration and environment at Yarmouth Borough Council, said Yarmouth was rarely uppermost in the minds in the transport ministers.

But on a positive note he said everything was on track for the opening of the outer harbour. “Everything is still on schedule. They decided to put in more quay headings and one might interpret that as a very positive sign but it will delay final completion.”

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