A47 upgrade back on the agenda

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced improvements to A120 and A14.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced improvements to A120 and A14. - Credit: Archant

DRIVERS and businesses were given a boost after the transport secretary revealed the long-awaited upgrade to the A47 is back on the agenda.

A study looking at where improvements could be made on the road between Great Yarmouth and Peterborough will be commissioned by Patrick McLoughlin in a bid to identify where and when investment can be made.

Mr McLoughin has asked for Norfolk County Council, the Highways Agency and other groups to work together on the new study, which will be completed towards the end of next year.

Campaigners believe the A47 upgrade could generate 10,000 jobs, secure a £390m annual economic boost and attract up to £800m of private investment.

Mr McLoughlin said: “The A47 is a strategically very important route. The area we are going to be looking at specifically goes from Peterborough to Great Yarmouth so it is a quite important route as far as connecting areas are concerned.

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“We want to see dualling the whole way along the A47.”

Fenland was dealt a blow in June after the A47 was left out of the government’s spending blueprint for 2015 to 2020.

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The Treasury said it would commission feasibility studies for roads improvements elsewhere as part of a £100 billion splurge on infrastructure - but the A47 was missing from the list.

Mr McLoughin said: “One of the things I am very keen to do is, in a similar way we do with the railways, have a five year plan which challenges the Highways Agency to do certain things and part of looking at that will be to commission a feasibility study on the A47 to see what improvements and changes are needed.

“I have seen what the local authority have already put forward and some of it may well be done relatively quickly.”

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