Stephen Hammond, responsible for roads policy, said the Government will next year begin to look seriously at the case for funding to the A47 between Great Yarmouth and Peterborough.

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He said the improvements could be delivered as part of a series of pilot schemes the Government is planning to fund.

Mr Hammond said: “The A47 campaign came to me and they had put together a very powerful and well constructed argument.

“They have moved substantially forward from where they were two years ago. “They have the local authorities, MPs and the local enterprise partnership all working together.

“I certainly recognise that the A47 is a corridor of strategic importance, and I think I did give them hope there is going to be progress on this project.”

Officials from the Department for Transport will now work with local councils to see how the A47 upgrade can move forward.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Cabinet Member for Community and Infrastructure, was part of a delegation with Norfolk counterparts which met the Minister.

Mr Hammond heard how an improved road would help reduce rural isolation and boost employment in Fenland and especially around the Wisbech area.

He also heard about the work of the Wisbech 2020 Vision to improve the area, create jobs and support communities.

Cllr Bates said: “I urged the Minister to back the campaign to improve this highly used and congested road..

“We will continue to push for these improvements although we recognise the difficulties of finding funding for major schemes in a tough financial climate.”

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