Major roadworks will cause disruption on main road through town

Gorleston from above. Also showing Yarmouth harbour mouth and gorleston beach area. Photo: Mike Page

Gorleston from above. Also showing Yarmouth harbour mouth and gorleston beach area. Photo: Mike Page

Major roadworks in Gorleston are set to start next week along the A47.

Highways England are launching the upgrade of the former A12 to improve safety and improve the road surface along large stretches of the route.

The highways authority, along with Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council have been working closely in partnership to develop the proposals, which are being delivered hand in hand to keep the disruption from roadworks to an absolute minimum.

Various works will be completed on and around the A47, which runs from Peterborough to Norwich and then along the east coast, including through the seaside town near Great Yarmouth.

Highways England will be completing £1.9 million of essential maintenance works in the area this winter, including:

• Improving the traffic lights at the Lowestoft Road and Bridge Road and Lowestoft Road and Kennedy Avenue junctions;

• Upgrading the Lowestoft Road and Kennedy Avenue pedestrian crossing so that it is suitable for cyclists too;

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• Resurfacing Lowestoft Road between the Victoria roundabout and Beaufort Way, while also installing traffic lights on the Beaufort Way roundabout, and;

• Replacing signs and installing a new central reservation safety barrier on the A47 between Gorleston and Hopton-on-Sea.

The maintenance work is part of a wider £18m package of work along the A47 in Norfolk, which consists of around 70 different schemes.

Highways England project manager Darrel Holt said: “Safety is at the heart of everything we do at Highways England, and this work will improve safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists both in and passing through Gorleston.

“By working closely with our partners at Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council, we can coordinate what we are both doing to ensure that we cause minimal disruption for road users while we are working.”

Martin Wilby, chairman of the county council’s transport committee, said: “It makes sense to work with Highways England on this scheme as it means we can help to minimise delays on this very busy section of road. We know any delays can be frustrating so we thank people for their patience while the work is underway.”

Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council Graham Plant said: “The A47 is a vital connection for the local and regional economies and for day-to-day life in the borough, linking Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft and the South East, so this national investment in maintenance works is much welcomed.

“The A47/A143 link road through Beacon Park, the borough’s major growth area, is now well-used. The borough council invested around £2.8 million to open the link road in 2015, in order to support sustainable growth and development, and we are also the key funder for the Beaufort Way roundabout traffic lights work that will help bring forward further new homes planned in that area.”

Summary of the works

The work will start next Monday, and is expected to be completed in early March.

The resurfacing work will take place over a period of three weeks between 8pm and 6am, on weekdays only. When closures are in force, there will be a clearly signed diversion route in place. Residents who need to access their homes during these overnight closures will be escorted through the roadworks. The remainder of the work, to improve crossings, install traffic lights and erect new signage, will then take place during the day with temporary traffic restrictions in place.

This wider £18 million package of work also includes resurfacing, bridge strengthening, replacing street lights, repairing drainage along with safety improvements and renewing signs and road markings at key locations along the road.

Norfolk County Council will install traffic lights on the roundabout that joins Beaufort Way (A143 link road) and the A47. The link road between the A143 and the A47 was delivered by Great Yarmouth Borough Council in partnership with the county council, opening two years ago. The link road eases congestion and opens up land for new homes, community facilities and businesses.

Building the link road and installing the traffic lights on the roundabout that joins it to the A47 were terms of the new housing development to ensure that essential infrastructure is in place for the new residents.

To minimise disruption, the county council will also be resurfacing the roundabout on behalf of Highways England.

The A47 Lowestoft Road will be closed between the Beaufort Way roundabout and the Middleton roundabout while this resurfacing is completed, with drivers diverted to use the A143 and B1534.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Persimmon are funding this work, with a contribution from Highways England. This work will start next Monday and should be completed by June.