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New start date for A11 dual works

17 November 08 16:25 GMT

Work to turn the last single carriageway stretch of the A11 through Suffolk and Norfolk into a dual carriageway has been brought forward.

The work between Fiveways at Barton Mills, Suffolk, and Thetford, Norfolk, will be brought forward from 2012/13.

Subject to the consideration of any objections, the project is now scheduled to start in autumn 2010.

This would enable the stretch to open to traffic in early 2013, 18 months ahead of the previous timetable.

Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon said: "I have asked the Highways Agency to work towards delivering this much needed scheme to dual the last single carriageway stretch of the A11 at the earliest opportunity."

Ease congestion

He said the work was a top priority which would mean "increased capacity, improved journey times and safety, and provide a big boost to the region's economy".

"It will also provide better value for money, costing around £8m less than it would to start work in 2012/13," said Mr Hoon.

Barbara Follett, Regional Minister for the East of England, described it as great news for the region and would "boost the economy during these difficult times".

Roger Hawkins, project manager for the Highways Agency, said: "Completing the dualing of the A11 between the M11 and Norwich will significantly contribute to improving journey time reliability and ease congestion.

'End of lethal stretch'

"The scheme includes a bypass that will take traffic away from Elveden, bringing substantial benefits to the village which has Conservation Area status."

Daniel Cox, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: "I am absolutely delighted with the news because of the very positive benefits this will bring to the Norfolk economy.

"This victory could not have been achieved without the tremendous backing the campaign has received from the public, in Norfolk, Suffolk and further afield.

"Achieving a 2010 start date was always an ambitious target, but I am highly ambitious for Norfolk - and thrilled to have hit the target in such style."

Norwich City Council leader Steve Morphew said: "This is terrific news for Norwich.

"Apart from being a big boost to business confidence just when we need it, the end of that lethal stretch of road will be a relief to everybody who travels along the A11."

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