Highways England will dual three parts of the 115 mile stretch of the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth, and improve several junctions and roundabouts, with work starting as early as 2018.
Work on the first of the improvements – a junction upgrade at Great Yarmouth will now start next year, up to 18 months sooner than expected.
Preferred routes for each of the A47 upgrades were announced in August following public consultations earlier in the year. Until now, the date given for all of the schemes was between 2020 and 2021; today’s timetable spaces them out more evenly to ensure that there will not be too many sets of roadworks happening at the same time.
The details are in Highways England’s supplementary delivery plan, which has been published today and includes an update on how Highways England is delivering the Government’s £15bn road investment across the country, which includes a £1.5 billion project already underway to create a new 21-mile A14 link road between Cambridge and Huntingdon.
Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England Chief Executive said:
Our update today is a sensible and responsible way to deliver major national investment in road infrastructure. It will keep our roads moving, deliver a lasting legacy for the country and ensure best value for money for the taxpayer.
Work to improve the A47 includes dualling the A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton, further east between Blofield and North Burlingham, along with junction improvements at the Thickthorn Interchange with the A11 plus two busy junctions in Great Yarmouth, on what was formerly the A12. Further west at Peterborough, the work involves dualling a busy stretch between Wansford (A1) and Sutton, and improving the Guyhirn junction with the A141.
The improvements to the junctions at Great Yarmouth have now been brought forward, and will start between 2018 and 2019, while a package of safety improvements on the Acle Straight have already been completed.
Meanwhile the A47 works to improve the A11 Thickthorn junction and the Guyhirn junctions will start between 2020 and 2021. Work to dual stretches of the A47 between Wansford and Sutton and North Tuddenham to Easton will also start around that time. The final stretch of dualling, between Blofield and North Burlingham, will start between 2021 and 2022.
The supplementary delivery plan also includes updated timings for widening the A12 between Chelmsford and the A120 – now scheduled to begin later in the 2020-21 financial year. All are still set for delivery as part of the Government’s first road investment strategy. Two technology upgrades – on the A12 and M11 – require further development to show value for money and have been paused for consideration in a future Road Investment period.
Six consultations into the £300 million A47 upgrades were held between 13 March and 21 April this year. In total, 1,447 people had their say, with 1,333 attending the 19 public events. The six projects are all part of the Government’s record £15 billion investment in England’s motorways and major A roads, with £3 billion of that being invested in the East of England.
A47 North Tuddenham and Easton
Option 2 was chosen for the dualling between North Tuddenham and Easton, which will see the A47 upgraded to dual carriageway along its existing route, with the alignment been amended to address some of the key concerns raised.
A47 Blofield to North Burlingham
For the Blofield to North Burlingham dualling, option 4 was selected which will see a new stretch of dual carriageway built a little to the south of the existing A47.
A47 Thickthorn Interchange with A11
The consultation was about a single option for the junction improvements, which will now see delivered a direct link from the A11 northbound to the A47 eastbound, and similarly from the A47 westbound to the A11 southbound, alleviating congestion at the roundabout.
A47 Great Yarmouth junctions (formerly A12)
At Great Yarmouth, the Vauxhall roundabout will be enlarged and fully signalled, and get an extended bridge and a new slip road. There will also be minor improvements at the Station Approach junction, while the Gapton roundabout will be significantly improved as it is fully signalled.
A47 Wansford to Sutton
Option 2 was chosen for dualling the A47 between the A1 junction at Wansford and the dual carriageway section west of Peterborough. This will include building a new dual carriageway to the north, at the western end, and to the south, at the eastern end. There will also be a dedicated slip road from the A1 southbound to the A47 eastbound to alleviate congestion at the junction. Since the consultation, the alignment has been amended to address some of the key concerns raised.
The single option proposed for the Guyhirn junction will see the roundabout enlarged and the road over the River Nene Bridge widened to three lanes to ease congestion.
For more information about our plans, visit the scheme website.
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