Brandon: Bypass plan action call

MPs have united in calling for action on a long-awaited bypass scheme which would help underpin economic development in the area.

Speaking in Parliament, West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock told how the idea of building a bypass around Brandon had first been raised in the house by his predecessor Richard Spring in 1992.

He said the scheme, which would be a key link between Suffolk and Norfolk, was flagged up nearly 20 years ago as “urgent priority”.

He said: “Although some progress has been made since, no ground has been dug. This is an awful long time to wait.”

Responding to his calls, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said the Brandon scheme – along with the Beccles southern relief road and the Long Stratton bypass in south Norfolk – was part of a “large backlog of work” to be carried out in East Anglia.

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“Infrastructure and job creation go hand in hand,” he said. “A good transport system is a prerequisite for sustained economic growth and, conversely, poor infrastructure and congestion hold back growth and the creation of jobs.”

He said despite Britain’s history of building world-class infrastructure in the past, the country’s more recent track record “has been poor”.

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“There has been no long-term strategic framework, projects have the gestation period of an elephant, and it appears that Britain has ground to a halt.

“With proper investment, East Anglia could contribute a great deal more.”

At present, a consortium of landowners are hoping to get a relief built around the town by using housing development to help fund the cost of the new road.

That scheme is still in the planning phase.

County councillor for Brandon Bill Bishop said: “I will keep fighting for a bypass. If they removed the congestion, Brandon would become a nice place to stop and spend time.”

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