A47 improvements: Government hints at Norfolk to Cambridgeshire investment

The A47 debate was held at Westminster Hall on Tuesday The A47 debate was held at Westminster Hall on Tuesday

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Major investment in the A47, the main east-west link from Norfolk to Peterborough and the Midlands, could be announced later in the year, the government has hinted.

During a Westminster Hall debate on the road, called by Norfolk MPs, road minister Robert Goodwill said he understood its importance.

He said Norfolk MPs should book a seat early for the Autumn Statement.

This is when the Chancellor of the Exchequer will announce spending plans.

Keith Simpson, MP for Broadland in Norfolk, told the Parliamentary hearing: "I have learnt from harsh experience we must address the upgrading of the A47 along its whole length.

"I think in terms of gaining hopefully the money in the Autumn statement... we should approach this issue from a strategic point of view.

"The A47 runs some 115 miles from Peterborough through Norfolk to Great Yarmouth, the extra bit is now the A12 which includes Lowestoft.

"Usually there's been a remedial series of patchwork mending of the A47 which address a very narrow local problem, worthy as they are, I don't think they are the solution for 2014-15."

MP Keith Simpson called for the upgrading of the A47

Mr Goodwill replied: "The A47 is an important trunk road which connects Norfolk with the Midlands and the issue of improving this road has been considered by successive governments. I recognise the strategic importance of this corridor and [the importance of] finding solutions for its problems.

"I suggest he [Keith Simpson] does make sure he gets in place for the Autumn statement to hear what the chancellor has to say."

Speaking during the debate at Westminster Hall, Norwich North MP Chloe Smith said the improvements would provide a "serious economic opportunity".

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