Infrastructure revolution for NW Norfolk?
- By Elaine Bird
- 08 January 2020
- North-West Norfolk
James Wild welcomes positive response from Chancellor on investment for NW Norfolk
The new MP for North West Norfolk used his first question in the House of Commons on 7th January to encourage the Chancellor Sajid Javid to dual the A47 and invest in half hourly rail services.
The extract from Hansard reads: When my right hon. Friend the Chancellor joined me in King’s Lynn during the election campaign, he heard from Merxin, an innovative medical company, about how our infrastructure revolution could benefit west Norfolk. Will he work with me, ahead of the Budget, to ensure that dualling the A47, and half-hourly rail services, are part of that investment programme?
Chancellor Sajid Javid’s response: I will work with my hon. Friend, and I welcome him to his place. I was incredibly impressed by Merxin, the company we visited together. It was a reminder of the difference the right infrastructure in west Norfolk can make and how it can attract even more local business success. I will work with him. We will have an infrastructure revolution. It will benefit Norfolk and it will transform the local economy.
Local reaction included Rural Broadband’s tweet: (James Wild) “Already putting West Norfolk at the heart of government.”
Less than half of the A47 is currently dualled (47%) and the A47 Alliance says that a fully dualled road would not only support the local economy and help to create jobs but also improve response times for the emergency services and reduce pollution from queuing traffic. The Alliance was re-launched in 2011 and it is made up of representatives from Suffolk, Norfolk, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. Members include the business community, local authorities and MPs together making the case for improvements across the A47.
In June 2019, the then MP Sir Henry Bellingham joined representatives from across the region served by the road to press Government Ministers to commit funding towards fully dualling the A47. The A47 Alliance says: “Our programme of staged investment will help turn the 115 miles of the A47 into a genuine strategic link.”
At the Conservative Party Conference last October, SW Norfolk MP and Cabinet Member Liz Truss agreed that the A47 needed attention. Emily Thompson’s article in the EDP reported that: Ms Truss said: "I want to see money going into our roads, which aren't good enough and I am working with my colleagues to campaign for that.
"I will also continue to campaign for the Ely Norfolk (rail) junction to be upgraded, that is a project I want to see when the government announce their new infrastructure plans."