A47 Rat-Running Campaign and Taskforce

I have long campaigned for much needed improvements to Norfolk (and the East)’s infrastructure.

With the exciting growth of the nearby Norwich Research Park, A11 Tech Corridor and countless businesses (small, medium and large) in our area, I believe that the area between Dereham-Norwich-Wymondham, in particular, has the potential to become the “Norwich Research Triangle” – an area with a bright future based on lots of small start-up companies that creates exciting jobs and opportunities and spreads the prosperity further to the likes of Watton and other “left behind” towns which need a boost. Norfolk in general though has the chance to unlock its full economic potential.

George Freeman MP

That’s why I (along with my fellow parliamentary colleagues, local councils, community groups and the business community) have been so vocal about improving our region’s digital and transport networks. Good connectivity is key if we are to grasp this wonderful opportunity properly and ensure vibrant communities for ourselves and future generations to come.

We’ve already made some excellent achievements – the dualling of the A11 and the roll-out of superfast broadband to, now, just over 95% of Norfolk to name just two! However, a big part of this vision going forward is achieving full dualling of the A47, as well as securing the Norwich Western Link (to connect the NDR to the A47 west of Norwich).

While I am pleased that Highways England will finally be getting on with the £300 million A47 improvements between North Tuddenham and Easton that I helped to secure, and am delighted to see Norfolk County Council driving forward positive work on the campaign to deliver the Norwich Western Link, I share the profound local concerns that the delivery of these projects could lead to a surge in rat-running through many of the communities between the proposed Berry’s Lane/Wood Lane junction at Honingham and Wymondham/even further afield (including the likes of Honingham, East Tuddenham, Barnham Broom, Kimberley, Carleton Forehoe, Coston, Welborne, Brandon Parva, Runhall, Wicklewood and Wymondham).

Map

Although these infrastructure improvements will represent massive progress for our area, it is vital that we ensure that a proper strategic plan is put in place to prevent these likely rat-running problems. We cannot sacrifice some of our most picturesque villages to ever more congestion, as well as greater levels of pollution and environmental damage, simply because we have not thought to look at the likely challenges ahead. It’s the quality of life, beautiful landscape and community spirit that makes Norfolk so special!

Back in October, at the request of a number of local Parish Councils, I attended a public meeting at St Peter’s Church in Kimberley to hear in greater detail their concerns about this potential increase in rat-running through our rural communities. It was decided that a local Taskforce would be created to co-ordinate the villages affected and work with local councillors, county and district officers, Highways England officials, the A47 Alliance and countryside groups to oversee the development of a proper Plan around the works – aimed at mitigating any likely rat-running and minimising the impact on local communities.

I am thrilled that, at their most recent meeting earlier this month, the Taskforce received confirmation from Norfolk County Council that they were looking to expand their traffic survey work in Mid Norfolk – to better understand the possible traffic impacts both during and after the construction works for both projects. A map of proposed sites for this additional work was provided (and a link to it can be found at the bottom of the page).

The Taskforce also discussed upcoming public consultations being held by Highways England and Norfolk County Council to canvass popular opinion on a range of issues, including the final layout of the key junction at Berry’s Lane/Wood Lane in Honingham. (See full details below)

 

While the Taskforce wants EVERYONE to submit their views to both the Norfolk County Council and Highways England consultations, it would also like to ask members of the public to share their views with the Taskforce as well. This will inform the Taskforce to ensure they campaign on the whole area’s behalf. Having seen the positive results achieved by the Taskforce already, I would whole heartedly encourage EVERYONE to engage with them.

Specifically, they would like to know how best YOU feel the new Berry’s Lane/Wood Lane junction should be designed, which mitigation measures YOU would like to see introduced to limit rat-running through this area and which roads YOU believe construction traffic should use/not use while the works are underway.

 

To submit your views to the Taskforce, please email them at A47taskforce@outlook.com

 

For further information, please see the links and details below.

 

 

 

Map of proposed sites for additional traffic survey work (produced by Norfolk County Council):

NCC Traffic Survey Sites

Highways England’s proposed layout for new Wood Lane/Berry’s Lane junction at Honingham:

Highways England’s proposed layout for new Wood Lane/Berry’s Lane junction at Honingham

Consultations

Highways England’s statutory consultation on the A47 North Tuddenham-Easton scheme will take place between Wednesday 26th February and Wednesday 8th April 2020.

Full information on the consultation can be found at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/A47NT-E, and you can submit your views:

Location

Date

Opening Time

Closing Time

 

North Tuddenham Village Hall

Fox Lane

North Tuddenham

NR20 3DH

 

Thursday 27th February

1pm

8pm

 

Hockering Village Hall

3 Heath Road

NR20 3HT

 

 

Friday 28th February

 

1pm

 

8pm

 

East Tuddenham Village Hall

Mattishall Road

East Tuddenham

NR20 3LR

 

 

Monday 2nd March

 

1pm

 

8pm

 

Honingham Village Hall

31 Dereham Road

Honingham

NR9 5AP

 

 

Tuesday 3rd March

 

1pm

 

8pm

 

 

Easton Village Hall

Marlingford Road

Easton

NR9 5AD

 

 

Wednesday 4th March

 

1pm

 

8pm

 

Assembly House

Theatre Street

Norwich

NR2 1RQ

 

 

Saturday 7th March

 

10am

 

4pm

Norfolk County Council’s next consultation on the Norwich Western Link will commence later this year.

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