News story

Transport Secretary in Norfolk to see government road investment providing faster, more reliable journeys

Patrick McLoughlin visits 3 Department for Transport backed major road projects that will help the county’s thriving economy.

Patrick McLoughlin at the site of Norwich Northern Distributor Road.
  • work on the £179 million Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NNDR) has started and will transform journeys around the city
  • the £6.8 million Great Yarmouth link road, completed in December 2015, has eased congestion and is supporting offshore wind farm development
  • A47 improvements, including dualling and major junction works will be started by 2020 along the crucial cross-county road link

Patrick McLoughlin was in Norfolk today (Thursday 3 March 2016) to see how the government’s investment in the road network is delivering a major boost to the economy and paving the way for thousands of new homes and jobs to be created.

Building the infrastructure that will help the east of England to grow and delivering better journeys is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan for the region. He visited the NNDR, which is forecast to deliver more than 10,000 houses and 12,000 jobs once completed. Meeting with Norfolk County Council and contractors Balfour Beatty at the construction site, he saw first-hand how the Department for Transport’s (DfT) 78 million investment will help clear congestion, improve air quality levels and enhance residents’ everyday lives.

The investment for the NNDR follows the £105 million upgrade to the A11 dual carriageway which opened in December 2014, improving the key road link between the M11 and Norwich.

The Transport Secretary then travelled to Norwich International Airport to meet local businesses who will benefit from the NNDR opening up opportunities and providing faster, more reliable journeys. The airport is also gaining a new government-funded air route between Norwich to Exeter, which will start in time for Easter 2016.

In Great Yarmouth, he saw the positive impact the town’s new link road has made upon businesses and residents since it opened in December 2015. The new link between the A12 and the A143 south of the resort received £4.8 million of DfT funding. The road is spurring the development of new housing and business opportunities, such as the Beacon Business Park which is expected to generate 3,400 jobs.

Patrick McLoughlin said:

It is about time the people in Norfolk benefit from a road network fit for the 21st century and that is exactly what the government is delivering.

The east of England is central to our long-term economic plan and it has seen the fastest employment growth in the country outside London since 2010. These schemes across Norfolk will support that trend continuing. Our investment will ensure faster, more reliable journeys and create thousands of new jobs and houses.

As part of the visit, the Transport Secretary drove along the A47 to Great Yarmouth to see how Highways England is developing detailed plans for 6 improvement schemes on the road, including dualling and major junction improvements from Wansford in Cambridgeshire to Blofield in Norfolk.

The road projects form part of a transport-wide investment programme for the east of England, which will also see rail passengers benefiting from enhanced services. The successful bid for the East Anglia rail franchise will be announced in Spring 2016 and will include faster journeys on state-of-the-art trains and better connections across the region.

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Published 3 March 2016