The Just Dual It! Campaign went to Westminster on Tuesday 25th June, the event was hosted by Brandon Lewis MP. Michael Ellis MP, Minister of State for Transport attended the event and was left in no doubt that there is significant support for dualling the A47.
Over 70 delegates including business leaders and politicians from Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Suffolk attended the parliamentary reception to make the case for investment in the A47 trunk road, which runs from Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth on the east coast and connects to the A1 at Peterborough.
The Minister of State for Transport, Michael Ellis MP, said ""how key [the A47] is, in terms of east/west movement and the economic value of the road, I was minister of tourism until a few weeks ago and understand the value of tourism to the economy" and that the A47 Alliance and the delegation delivered a "really powerful message" to Westminster.
Over 2,000 postcards supporting the dualling of the A47 have been received since the campaign was launched in March 2018.
The aim of the campaign is to lobby the Government to:
The Just Dual It! campaign was launched on Monday 19th March 2018, calling on the Government to commit to make funding available to dual the entire 115-mile length of the A47 by 2030. The campaign is being spearheaded by Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and the Eastern Daily Press. Click here to find out more.
Photo: David Powles (EDP), Cllr Martin Wilby (A47 Alliance Chairperson), George Freeman MP, Jesse Norman MP (Roads Minister), Henry Bellingham MP, Richard Bacon MP, Nova Fairbank (Norfolk Chamber of Commerce)
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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.”