A47 accidents have caused a month's worth of road closures over five years
PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:11 09 September 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
Accidents on the A47 caused a month's worth of road closures between 2013 and 2018, figures have revealed.
The trunk road, which stretches from Lowestoft to Peterborough, was the worst of three major roads for delays, compared with the A11 and A12.
The figures sparked further support for the EDP’s Just Dual It campaign, which is calling for the whole 115-mile road to be dualled.
Police also confirmed that full dualling of the road would make it far safer for drivers and officers attending accidents.
Statistics show that between 2013 and 2018, accidents caused more delays on the A47 than the A11 and A12 each year apart from 2013 and 2017.
Drivers dealt with an incredible 11 days worth of delays on the A47 in 2013.
In 2018 so far, the road has been shut for nearly 90 hours, equivalent to more than three and a half days of disruption for drivers.
Less than half of the A47 is dual carriageway, compared to all of the A12 from just north of Ipswich to the Blackwall Tunnel in London, totalling around two-thirds of the road, and the entirety of the A11 from Norwich to the M11. Roads with dual carriageways are less likely to have accidents which cause closures, statistics show, with the number of crashes on the A12 dropping from 37 in 2013 to 20 last, while the A47 has seen accident numbers stay steady at around 30 per year.
Any closure of the road, particularly on single carriageway parts of the A47, can effect the local area’s economy, with councillors claiming it can lead to a reduction in tourism and economic output.
Martin Wilby, chairman of the A47 Alliance and Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said: “I hear a lot of frustration from road users on the A47; the Acle Straight is a specific issue where if you have an accident on there it is not long until you have a large hold up.
“It is not good for our business, economy, or tourist economy. If there is a hold up their experience is not so enjoyable. We need to be more accessible to support our businesses as well as our local residents.”
He added: “Our proposal is for the whole of the A47 to be dualled, all the way from Lowestoft to Peterborough. In doing that, it will mean journey times are quicker, more reliable, and much safer.”
The Just Dual It campaign
Our Just Dual It campaign is backing dualling the full 115-mile stretch of the A47 from Peterborough to Lowestoft.
MPs, business leaders and councillors are also behind the campaign, which launched in March.
Just 47 per cent of one of the most important roads in the region is dual carriageway and while £300m of improvements are in the pipeline, only eight further miles will be dualled.
There are no current plans to dual other sections, such as the Acle Straight near Great Yarmouth or between Tilney and East Winch to the west of the county.
The aim of the campaign is to put full dualling, which would cost an estimated £1.4bn, at the forefront of government thinking when it comes to investment in major road schemes between 2020 and 2025.
There are concerns an initial report by Highways England into investment did not flag up the Acle Straight and the west Norfolk stretch as anything other than standard trunk roads.