Drivers on Acle Straight hit by more than two days of closures since 2016
PUBLISHED: 15:37 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:55 18 March 2019
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012
Drivers travelling on one of Norfolk's most notorious stretches of road have been disrupted by more than two days worth of closures since 2016, new figures reveal.
In total the A47 Acle Straight has been shut for 52 hours and 7 minutes from 2016 to 2018.
Vice chairman of the A47 Alliance and leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Graham Plant, called the news a key piece of evidence which demonstrates the need for the A road to be dualled.
Mr Plant said: “The statistics do not surprise me and highlight the need for the A47 to be fully dualled to ensure there is a clear run through the county.
“We continue to push the government on this issue and believe we are making progress with the campaign.
“When the Acle Straight is closed vehicles have to travel along country lanes which they are not designed for.
“It is a massive disruption.”
Figures obtained by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request show that between 2013 to 2018 the road was closed 44 times with 35 of these being because of a crash.
A breakdown, an animal on the road, a spillage (other than fuel) and an obstruction were each responsible for two closures.
A fuel spillage accounted for one of the closures.
Norfolk County Councillor for Yarmouth North and Central, Mick Castle, said it was essential for the Acle Straight to be dualled.
“It has to be a priority because of the disruption the closures cause,” he said.
“There are more closures now than I can ever remember.”
Last year the Eastern Daily Press, launched its ‘Just Dual It!’ campaign urging the government to invest more money into the A47.
The campaign made the case that shorter and more reliable journey times along the road and onwards to the Midlands would not only improve quality of life but provide a huge boost to the regional economy.
In February, campaigners were told work on dualling the Acle Straight could begin in 2023.
It was originally feared work would have to be delayed because of a five year snail study which was looking into whether tiny rare snails which live in roadside dykes could successfully be relocated.