Motorists warned to avoid the A47

Elaine Maslin Massive delays are expected on the A47 west of Norwich this weekend as road builders undertake major works as part of safety measures.Motorists are being warned to avoid the trunk road around the Honingham area as workers join a newly constructed roundabout to the A47.

Elaine Maslin

MASSIVE delays are expected on the A47 this weekend as road builders undertake major works to join a new roundabout to the trunk road.

There is some good news for motorists who are warned to avoid the Honingham area, however - the scheme is almost two months ahead of schedule.

Just one lane will be open for traffic passing the Mattishall Road turn-off for 82 hours from 8pm tonight until 6am on Monday.

Temporary traffic lights will allow traffic to flow in just one direction at a time.

The roundabout is due to be open

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for road users by early December, news which will no doubt be welcomed by the majority of Christmas shoppers.

Landscaping, signs, lights, footways, safety barriers and other works are to be finished in early January - nearly two months ahead of schedule.

This weekend's work was deliberately timed so that it did not coincide with a Norwich City FC home game.

Brian Pitkin, project manager on the scheme for the Highways Agency, said: "Unfortunately it is going to cause quite serious congestion. If drivers can avoid the area they should or find alternative routes.

"We have done as much work as possible away from the A47 with the least possible disruption to traffic. Now we have got to a stage where we have got to join the A47 to the roundabout.

"But we are well ahead of the original programme."

Work started at the junction in early September.

This weekend's task is to raise the existing A47 by some five feet to bring it level with the new roundabout.

From Monday traffic will be using the new road and will pass the roundabout on both sides, travelling east to west, but will not be able to go around it fully or turn off to Mattishall.

The Mattishall Road, closed in

early November, is due to reopen in about two weeks' time, at which point the roundabout should be fully functional.