Long-awaited road scheme edges closer

A MULTI-million pound highways scheme to improve one of the region's major roads will take a step closer to reality this week when the plans are officially presented to central Government.

A MULTI-million pound highways scheme to improve one of the region's major roads will take a step closer to reality this week when the plans are officially presented to central Government.

Members of the Regional Partnership Group will meet on Friday to discuss priorities for the region, including the duelling of the busy A11, which runs between Barton Mills and Thetford.

Its recommendations will then be passed to the Government, which is expected to make a decision by spring of this year as to which proposals will be given the go-ahead.

If approved, the scheme for the A11 - which is expected to cost around £101 million - will be one of the biggest regional allocations of Government funding for transport during the next 10 years.


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Last night, Rona Burt, chairman of both Tuddenham Parish Council and the Suffolk Association of Local Councils, said she was “thrilled” with the progress of the scheme, which was first mooted around 20-years-ago.

“It is so important that this work is carried out and this is definitely a step forward, and it seems a fantastic amount of money that is being allocated for the scheme,” she said.

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“A lot of people think we do not seem to exist in this part of the region and it is nice that we are finally getting some recognition.

“It has got to go ahead, and I think it will do eventually, but this recommendation is encouraging to say the least.”

Work on the scheme, which is hoped will greatly improve the economic development of the area, would get underway in 2011/2012, and would be expected to last around four years.

The cost of the work is second only to a proposal to improve the A120 Braintree to Marks Tey road in Essex, which has been priced at £312 million.

West Suffolk MP Richard Spring welcomed the recommendation, but said it was now up to central Government to make sure the scheme actually went ahead.

“People have been waiting for this for a long time, and there is no reason for this not to go ahead,” he said.

“But we have seen other things that the Government has agreed to being dumped in the waste paper basket, so I am very anxious about this.

“Everyone else seems to be on board with regards to this scheme and it is just a question of the Government giving it the green-light, which will not be a moment too soon.”

The Regional Partnership Group, which is made up of councillors and government executives, will also discuss public investment in housing and economic development in the East of England.

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