Two years on from the A47 Alliance’s Parliamentary Reception, in June 2019, we saw September 2021 as the time to once again make the case for investment in the A47. We asked for support and participation in our campaign to get the A47 back onto the agenda and back into the plans of the Minister of State for Transport.
With the spending review in October 2021 we had an opportunity to campaign for government to commit to infrastructure and to help us Build Back Better.
From September to October 2021 we worked with the local media, local businesses, MPs and members of the A47 Alliance to resurrect the Just Dual It campaign, this time with an extra message: Just Fund It.
We promoted the various benefits A47 dualling will have on:
The campaign culminated in a 'Social Media Day of Action' in October 2021 which saw 410 uses of the hashtags #JustDualIt and #JustFundIt across Twitter and Facebook and 38 pieces of media coverage, including an interview on BBC Radio Norfolk. The campaign ignited the conversation around A47 dualling and raised the profile of the need for full dualling. More information on the statistics from the Social Media Day of Action can be found in the document library here.
Despite these efforts, funding for A47 dualling was not secured in the 2021 Spending Review which was announced on the 27th October 2021. However, the campaign was successful in reinforcing the need for A47 dualling and engaging people in the conversation.
As the A47 Alliance has previously agreed, we ask that government:
We requested the support of the public, local businesses, local authorities and MPs for this campaign and asked them to help make the case for A47 dualling, raising our voices so we can be heard. We are very grateful for support provided. Some of the ways we suggested action was taken included:
Keith Simpson, MP for Broadland and MP representative on the A47 Alliance said “The A47 is the transport spinal cord of our county. We need to improve the A47 to get Norfolk moving. Targeted improvements will help reduce accidents and save lives. They will help businesses who need efficient and speedy road connections linking King's Lynn with Yarmouth.”
Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth said “Improving the A47 can join our east coast up, not just across Norfolk, but to the Midlands and North of England. It can play a major role in improving safety on the road and giving business an even great ability to grow and flourish in our county, with improved infrastructure and connectivity to markets.”
Caroline Williams, CEO Norfolk Chamber of Commerce said “There is no doubt that improving Norfolk’s poor infrastructure especially the A47 will enable Norfolk businesses to develop more quickly and create the jobs that are so needed. Norfolk‘s business community are united in the desire to grow and we look for improvement to the A47 to help us make this a reality and connect us more effectively to the west of the country.”
Ian Alston, Managing Director of Honingham Thorpe Farms (with over 200 people employed on site) said “We must seize every opportunity to bring the A47 up to date if Norfolk is to avoid losing real business and employment opportunities.”
Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North said “Improving the A47 will greatly help Norwich businesses and householders. We have a chance now to build the campaign carefully.”
Martin Lake, Chairman of the Mid Norfolk Federation of Small Businesses said “Getting around the county is fairly challenging. Colleagues from other parts of the country use this as a reason for not coming here. The dualling of the A11 is great news but we also need improvements to the A47. Getting two key routes in the county upgraded would be brilliant and would make a huge difference.”
George Freeman, MP said “For too long Norfolk’s infrastructure has been neglected. The A47 has been a key artery but it’s clogged, very dangerous and too many of my constituents suffer injury and death from avoidable accidents. I greatly welcome the campaign to improve the A47 and the profound benefit it will have for my constituents.”