The A47 Alliance held their latest meeting in King’s Lynn on Friday 15th February. There was an outstanding attendance with the meeting being chaired by Norfolk County Councillor Martin Wilby. Attendees included the MPs George Freeman and Henry Bellingham; the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer; the Leader of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, Cllr Brian Long; numerous other councillors from different councils; representatives of private businesses and Highways England.
The overwhelming view of the meeting was that it is now crucial that the six key schemes that are in the programme with a clear go ahead are completed on time. Once these have been “banked” everyone agreed that the key priority was to keep up the pressure to get the entire route dualled.
Commenting Henry said: “Whilst the existing £300million investment in the six schemes on the A47 is welcome, once completed only slightly more than 50% of the road will be dualled. This is why myself and other local MPs are constantly applying pressure on the Department for Transport and the Treasury for more investment.”
“What was really impressive about the meeting is that there is now unanimous agreement among all the key politicians, Local Authorities and other bodies. This is why I am confident that by working together we can achieve our aim of getting the A47 fully dualled.”
George Freeman MP for Mid Norfolk also said: “In 2013, the MPs, local councils and LEPs came together and set out a successful business case for the dualling and upgrade of several sections of the A47 – and, in 2014, we secured a £300m funding commitment for Phase 1. However, we MUST keep up the pressure on Highways England not to let the committed works slip and on the Government to commit to Phase 2.”
“I am delighted to be working with my parliamentary colleagues to lead the charge in Westminster for the A47 Alliance in the lead up to this year’s autumn Budget.”
Henry went on to confirm that the next two moves were: firstly, his own application for an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons; and another delegation to go and see the Minister.