For hauliers who use the roads of East Anglia on a regular basis, there’s good news: the road improvements for the region have recently been given the green light by the UK government, which will come as a welcome solution to the delays and congestion that are experienced all too often. The £300 million scheme will encompass six areas of improvement, with proposals based on public consultation that took place through public events and feedback via the UK government's Highways England agency.
The East Anglia upgrades are part of the government's major £15 billion investment in the nation’s road infrastructure. The first stage will begin in early 2018, with the works spread evenly to a schedule over the next few years in order to minimise the disruption to traffic and residents.
Highways England has identified congestion hotspots in areas around Great Yarmouth, Peterborough and Norwich. The areas suffer consistent traffic delays and have also been flagged with safety concerns. In addition, the road improvements scheme is targeting areas that are currently undergoing developments, which will result in significant population growth close to the A47 in Norfolk.
The aims of the road improvements in East Anglia relate to accessibility, safety, growth and the environment, with Highways England providing a clearly detailed timeline and regular progress reports. The scheme aims to:
•improve accessibility and reduce delays and congestion
•create alternative local access routes
•increase safety for all road users, including cyclists and horse riders
•reduce the environmental impact of the A47 for surrounding communities
•improve road capacity and increase economic growth in surrounding regions.
Where the Road Improvements Will Happen
The six routes that comprise the East Anglia infrastructure upgrade are as follows.
Works to commence 2018-19:
A47/A12 Great Yarmouth Junctions: This project will enlarge the Vauxhall roundabout and add a slip road, signals and an extended bridge. There will be major improvements to the Gapton roundabout and minor changes to the Station Approach junction.
Works to commence 2020-21:
A47/A11 Thickthorn Junction: The objective is to reduce congestion at the roundabout and create a direct links for traffic in all directions.
A47 Wandsworth to Sutton: This infrastructure improvement aims to create a new dual carriageway to the north and south and add a dedicated slip road in order to reduce congestion.
A47 Guyhirn Junction: The roadwork here will increase the size of the roundabout and widen the River Nene Bridge road to include three lanes.
Works to commence 2021-22:
A47 North Tuddenham to Easton: The goal is to upgrade the existing dual carriageway and to address concerns of safety and congestion.
A47 Blofield to North Burlingham dualling: Road improvements will focus on a new stretch of dual carriageway to the south of the current route.
Progress Going Forward
Anyone whose property is likely to be affected by these upgrades will be contacted in due course and will be given the opportunity to voice any feedback or concerns. In addition, further consultation will be provided with updated details of the scheme. Hauliers who regularly use the A47 and who may be concerned about potential disruptions can obtain more detailed information from Highway England's “Supplementary Delivery Plan", which is available on their website at www.roads.highways.gov.uk.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides a valuable service providing information on topics like road improvements and the other latest news from the industry. Matching delivery work with available vehicles, over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.