Summer highlights accessibility problems in our area

Neil Orford, President of Great Yarmouth Chamber Council, Partner at Lovewell Blake

Neil Orford, President of Great Yarmouth Chamber Council, Partner at Lovewell Blake - Credit: Archant

It has been great to see our town bustling with tourists visiting our beaches and leisure activities recently – mostly in the sunshine, for once! Although this is a boost for retail and tourism businesses in our area, it highlights the accessibility problems with our area for both visitors and businesses.

We all know too well this is not just a seasonal problem, it is one that affects us every day of the year, trying to do business in Norfolk. That’s why I am ensuring the Great Yarmouth Chamber Council continue to lobby on key infrastructure projects.

We were pleased to see some progress for the Third River Crossing recently. The Department of Transport have agreed to fund the business case development for the project. But we cannot stop there. Our community need to keep a strong voice at Westminster, through the Chamber and our local MPs, to ensure the rest of the project receives the funding required.

The second project is one of the key bottle necks to accessing Great Yarmouth – the Vauxhall A47/A12 roundabout. Highways England are currently taking part in a consultation with local bodies regarding changes that need to be made to the A47 and surrounding junctions. Whilst we support the need to consult and listen to the local community, we cannot let this project drag on and leave us further behind other growing areas like Lowestoft – currently no work will happen on the ground until at least 2019/20.

We will continue to work closely with Norfolk’s MPs to make this happen. We will also be involved with the EEEGR House of Commons reception to push forward infrastructure and more key improvements to support business in Great Yarmouth. Simon Gray, Chief Executive of EEEGR and member of our Chamber Council, will tell you more about this in next month’s column.

Finally, don’t forget to book now for a morning of networking at the next Business Breakfast on Thursday 17 November at Great Yarmouth Racecourse – visit norfolkchamber.co.uk/events. I hope to see you there!