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New voice for A47 upgrade lobby

CAMBRIDGESHIRE COUNTY Council has joined the lobby group campaigning for an urgent £250M upgrade of the A47 trunk road in East Anglia.

Councillor Shona Johnstone said she hoped Cambridgeshire could contribute its experience in lobbying the government over improvements to the A14 to the A47 Alliance.

'The northern part of Fenlands needs transport infrastructure on a par with what already exists further south near Stansted and Cambridge, ' she said.

The A47 Alliance lobby group was formed in 1994. This was after the Conservatives dropped a commitment made in 1989 for a 150km dualling scheme between the A1 at Peterborough and Great Yarmouth on the east coast.

Alliance members include Norfolk County Council, local councils, and the East of England Regional Assembly.

Much of the A47 is still single carriageway, and runs through a number of unbypassed villages.

It links Great Yarmouth to Peterborough on the A1 via Norwich and King's Lynn, and carries up to 20,000 vehicles a day, many of them HGVs.

A lot of west bound traffic tries to avoid the inevitable congestion on the A47 by heading south along the A11 to join the A14, following this to the A1 or the M1/M6 interchange.

But while the A14 is dual carriageway, the stretch between Cambridge and Huntingdon is also badly congested.

'The A47 has an appalling accident record and is a serious handicap when trying to attract new businesses to run-down areas like Great Yarmouth' said A47 Alliance chairman Adrian Gunson.

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