Campaign for A11 dualling builds

PRESSURE is mounting on Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly to make an immediate commitment to provide the £135million needed to complete the dualling of the A11.

Will Clarke

PRESSURE is mounting on Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly to make an immediate commitment to provide the £135million needed to complete the dualling of the A11.

Suffolk and Norfolk roads chiefs have backed calls for a pledge from the minister for improvements to the notorious stretch between Fiveways and Thetford, which is the last remaining single-carriageway section of the major road.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for roads and transport and chairman of the regional transport portfolio holders' group has joined with colleagues from Norfolk in calling for greater commitment from government.


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Mr McGregor said he backed Daniel Cox, leader of Norfolk County Council, who has written to Mrs Kelly asking her to firm up her commitment to meeting the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) deadline for work to start, which was set last week at 2010.

He also believes the next steps by the Highways Agency will be crucial if the project is going start in time to meet target set by EERA.

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He said: “Essentially the situation is that the Highways Agency is being encouraged to work up the scheme. They are going to do some exhibitions to show people what the proposals will look like and we hope to see final orders by September.

“What we want to make sure there are no statutory objections from potential objectors by ensuring their needs are accommodated. We need the Highways Agency to do its job properly and for all the money to be found - so there is a long way to go yet.

“Physically it is an easy road to build - what causes problems is the methodology before we reach that stage.”

A spokeswoman for the Highways Agency said they were doing everything they could to help the process along.

“The Highways Agency has invited the public to see the proposals at pre-draft orders exhibitions, starting this week. We are holding these exhibitions at this early stage to ensure the public is kept well informed. We always ask the public for its views and act on feedback received.

“Also, the first public consultation was in February 2001 and we welcomed and acted on the feedback - this has fed in to the pre-draft orders and these exhibitions.

“There will be a formal objection period following the publication of draft orders, which is expected to take place in autumn this year.”

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