New signs cost £750,000 when A12 became A47

Junction 22 on the A12.

Junction 22 on the A12. - Credit: Archant

Almost £750,000 was spent changing road signs on a major trunk road between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, it has been revealed.

Mick Castle. Picture: James Bass

Mick Castle. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Archant

In 2014, the decision was made to redesignate the section of the A12 between the two towns to being part of the A47, meaning signs along the route had to be changed.

The changes, which took place in early 2017, affected 188 signs in total, with 146 stickers used and 42 signs replaced to also display the new road name.

According to the Highways Agency, the costs included £637,510 for the cost of manufacturing and installing all the signs which were installed, modified or replaced. That figure also includes the cost of traffic management and labour costs required.

The figures also said £64,764.11 was spent on scheme design, and £41,071.39 for supervision costs. The total cost was £746,345.50.

Junction 22 on the A12.

Junction 22 on the A12. - Credit: Archant

The decision to rename the road was made after councils contacted the secretary of state about the change, with the work included in the national Road Investment strategy in December 2014.

Mark Bee, council leader at Waveney District Council, said: “The situation was that as part of our Lowestoft transport initiative, one of the things we identified was that having the A47 coming all the way to Lowestoft would bring a trunk road right to the town and it would literally put Lowestoft on the map.

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“I can understand why people think it is a lot of money, but we have also got to weigh that against the future economic benefits of Lowestoft not looking like a backwater.”

Mick Castle, Norfolk County councillor for Yarmouth North and Central, sits on the transport committee.

He said:“I was an enthusiast for changing it because it meant we were on the government’s radar and it has improved the way the A47 was perceived and how it can be improved in the future, and the business community were also behind it as well.”

Highways England said: “As the A12 south of Lowestoft to the A14 does not form part of the strategic road network, the view was that by re-designating the A12 between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft as the A47, it would give the route greater prominence and stimulate much needed growth in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft and better reflect the A47’s nature as a continuous corridor.”