Scheme to dual final stretch of A11 gets final approval

A scheme to widen the last single carriageway section of the A11 through Norfolk and Suffolk has been approved.

The government confirmed funding to transform the nine-mile stretch of the road between Barton Mills and Thetford in October's spending review.

Roads minister Mike Penning confirmed on Tuesday that all planning hurdles for the £131m scheme had been cleared.

A start date for the work is due to be announced in the spring.

Mr Penning said: "The government is committed to delivering transport projects which improve journeys and help economic growth so I am pleased to announce that this vital scheme has completed its final planning stages and can now proceed to construction.

'Lobby hard'

"This scheme has very high levels of public support. Road users will benefit from reduced congestion, faster, more reliable journeys and improved safety on the route, which is a major link between the East of England and London.

"Our analysis shows that every pound invested in this scheme will deliver more than £17 of benefits to the economy - an extremely high rate of return."

Peter Barry, joint chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Development Group, said: "New Anglia businesses and business associations have continued to lobby hard to ensure that dualling of the A11 does not fall off the government's agenda, so we're delighted the secretaries of state have decided to proceed.

"We now need to get a reasonable timescale from the Highways Agency on implementation, the sooner the better, as it will unlock enormous economic potential and job creation for Norfolk and Suffolk and will be a real boost to the region."

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