Decision due over changes to A47/A11 Thickthorn roundabout

6:00 AM September 19, 2022

A decision on whether to go ahead with a major revamp to the Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich is due to be made this week.

One of the first acts of new transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, appointed in Liz Truss’s new cabinet, will be to decide whether to grant permission for the multi-million pound scheme.

Transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan

– Credit: PA

The plans include a new slip road off the A11 northbound, which will take motorists beneath both roads before rejoining traffic on the A47 heading towards Great Yarmouth – eliminating the need to use the roundabout.

The application, by National Highways, has been discussed at a number of public hearings which have helped inform a recommendation by planning inspector Matthew Shrigley.

Mrs Trevelyan has until Tuesday (September 20) to decide whether she agrees with the recommendation he submitted to the Department for Transport in June.

Whether or not Mr Shrigley has recommended the scheme should go ahead or not will not be known until the decision of Mrs Trevelyan is published.

The Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich. Pic: Highways England.

The Thickthorn roundabout on the edge of Norwich.

– Credit: Highways England

She could decide to go with the recommendation, but she is able to overrule the inspector – as happened in the case of the previously mooted revamp of Anglia Square in Norwich.

If the Thickthorn scheme does get the go-ahead, National Highways has said work would start in 2023 and be finished in 2024.

National Highways bosses have been considering whether they could speed up construction by completely shutting the junction for nine days, with a further “limited number” of overnight closures to follow.

Under the initial plans, the junction was to remain open, but the project would take almost three years and involve lane closures, contraflows and 30mph speed limits.

Bosses are looking at whether the new underpass could be constructed next to the road and then slid into position – reducing how long work would need to be done.

Two other A47 schemes – the dualling of 1.6 miles of the road between Blofield and North Burlingham and five-and-a-half miles of road between Easton and North Tuddenham – have been granted consent in recent months.

However, both those schemes could end up before judges in the High Court, if environmentalist Andrew Boswell’s legal challenges to them lead to judicial reviews.


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