Concerns raised over impact of A47 dualling on other roads

The A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton . Pic: Highways England.

The A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton . Pic: Highways England. - Credit: Highways England

How the mooted dualling of the A47 in Norfolk would link to the proposed £198m Norwich Western Link and the Food Enterprise Park at Easton have come under the spotlight.

A public hearing into proposals to dual a section between North Tuddenham and Easton saw concerns raised over a "missed opportunity" to ensure traffic is kept off some of the smaller roads in the area.

The Planning Inspectorate is holding virtual hearings to consider the application by National Highways for a development consent order for the dualling scheme.

The scheme includes five-and-a-half miles of dual carriageway between Hockering and Honingham and two new junctions at the Wood Lane/Berry's Lane and Norwich Road/Blind Lane junctions, alongside the removal of Easton roundabout.

But at Thursday morning's hearing, parish councils were among those raising concerns about the potential impact on their roads if dualling went ahead - but the proposed Western Link road Norfolk County Council wants to build did not.

The new dumbbell roundabout junction at Wood Lane includes a spur the Western Link could be connected to, but the road has yet to secure funding or permission.

Ruth Goodall, Weston Longville parish councillor, was worried the situation could mean more traffic heading through her village.

She said: "I'd like to see National Highways go back to the drawing board to see what possible, before it's too late."

Dereham Market - Ruth Goodall. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Ruth Goodall. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Barrie Arthur, from National Highways, said there was regular discussion with the county council about both schemes.

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Further concerns were raised by Paul Clarke, from Brown&Co, representing the developers of the Food Enterprise Park at Easton.

He said the current plans do not provide direct access from that park on to the A47 and said: "It seems to us there is a missed opportunity here."

Jonathan Rush, from Brown&Co, representing Alston Farms, raised concerns about the proposed closure of Blind Lane, which provides access to farmland at Honingham.

He said that would push traffic from there on to other roads and called for "some form of link" with Blind Lane to stop farm traffic needing to head via Easton.

The Planning Inspectorate will make a recommendation to the secretary of state, who has the final say on whether work goes ahead.

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