‘A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’: MP hails bypass project progression

Upgrading the A146 at the Barnby Bends has been talked about for many years. Picture: Google Images

Upgrading the A146 at the Barnby Bends has been talked about for many years. Picture: Google Images - Credit: Archant

A bid for funding to progress a new bypass scheme at a notorious accident blackspot has moved an 'important' step forward.

For many years, an upgrade of the A146 at the Barnby Bends has been discussed.

In July this year, Waveney MP Peter Aldous backed a bid by Suffolk County Council to receive Major Road Network funding for a 'Barnby Bends' bypass on the A146 between Lowestoft and Beccles.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: Archant library.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: Archant library. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

The county council submitted a proposal to Transport East for consideration of prioritisation of the 'Barnby Bends' scheme for Major Road Network funding.

With the A146 - which links Lowestoft to Beccles and onwards to Norwich - expected to see significant increases in traffic, a bypass of the 'Barnby Bends' could benefit the area.

And this week "an important milestone was achieved", according to Mr Aldous, as the Department for Transport announced that funding would be provided to progress the scheme.

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Mr Aldous said: "Eighteen projects across the country were highlighted and the only other one in East Anglia is the Long Stratton Bypass on the A140.

"This announcement is very welcome, but it is important to emphasise that we are at a very early stage in a process that will include consulting, designing, obtaining planning permission, securing funding for construction and then building.

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"I believe that there is a compelling case for a Barnby Bends improvement scheme, but it is clear from talking to people living locally and community representatives that there are many different views about the form that the scheme should take and it is important that everyone has the opportunity to put their opinions to Suffolk County Council, who will be promoting the project.

"From my perspective, there is a need to remove an accident blackspot and a pinch-point on the local road network."

The county council will now prepare a strategic outline business case for the scheme, and Mr Aldous said: "If this is successful they'll then move on to the next stage of developing the full business case for the detailed design and construction.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it is important that we get it right."

Equally welcoming the announcement, New Anglia LEP Tweeted: "Positive news for the A140 Long Stratton Bypass and A146 Barnby Bends as the Government confirms the advancement of both proposals to the next stage."

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