Video: Acle Straight dualling: MP Brandon Lewis meets Broadland MP Keith Simpson at Yarmouth’s Pleasure Beach on last stop of symbolic journey
The campaign to get the perilous Acle Straight section of the A47 dualled was launched today, (Friday, November 23) with MP for Great Yarmouth Brandon Lewis meeting MP for Broadland Keith Simpson outside Pleasure Beach on the last leg of a symbolic journey.
Mr Simpson arrived outside Yarmouth’s Pleasure Beach at 2.35pm – 10 minutes earlier than planned. The MPs’ representative on the A47 Alliance had journeyed along the A47, stopping at spots along the way, since leaving Kings Lynn at 10am in a symbolic gesture designed to highlight the need for improvements to the road.
He met with Mr Lewis, whose constituency contains the Acle Straight section of the A47 - a bone of contention for many of Mr Lewis’s constituents - to further highlight the campaign and round off a road trip that took in the entire road from the north to the south of the county.
Mr Simpson said: “We did not have any trouble along the way, we were actually incredibly lucky.
“It was slow in parts but because of the sheer number of heavy goods vehicles that go along the road normally you would expect at least one hold up; 48 hours ago the drive would have been horrendous.
“The point is that we have decided to do something that was symbolic, and to show that it’s very important to link the two ends of Norfolk – Yarmouth, the great seaside town with the more industrial Kings Lynn. The A47 is the spine of Norfolk.
“If there is an accident on the Acle Straight Yarmouth is cut off. There have been some tragic cases.
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“It is unusually clear today, just luck. It would have proved a point if I had been held up but I might not have ever made it here!”
Mr Simpson added that he had not been travelling at rush hour, which is when most of the problems occur on the A47.
Mr Lewis said: “What today is about is highlighting the importance of the A47, it is important for all of Norfolk.
“It is the spine across that opens us up to get to the A11 and the rest of the country.
“In Yarmouth we have a separate issue and requests. The Acle Straight needs to be safer, but also made better for businesses. We have massive opportunities in Yarmouth for expansion, for example with the energy industries, and the Acle Straight as the important access to the town is something we have got to work on.
“All of us in Yarmouth know it and the debate has been going on for decades now. The previous government did nothing about it, we are starting from scratch. We will put it to MPs, raise it in the Commons and I have already met the minister about it.
“We will see some improvements, last month the government put some ‘pinch point’ money towards it, but here in Yarmouth it is all about the Acle Straight, that is the long term project for this area.
“I have said from the beginning I am not saying I can get it dualled this year or the next but we have got to start the work now.”