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17 January 2014, 16:50 | Updated: 17 January 2014, 16:56
The Prime Minister's been in Norfolk today to highlight major transport infrastructure projects in the region.
Official Government figures show that East of England receives the highest level of projected investment on transport infrastructure than any other part of the country outside London and the south-east – over £1.9billion in total, which includes huge improvements to the A11 and A14, roads that are essential to keep the region moving and help business grow.
During the visit he was talked through major transport infrastructure projects in the region – seeing local enterprise groups, MPs and businesses.
Speaking ahead of the visit the Prime Minister said: “I’ve got a long term plan to secure Britain’s future – and modern roads and railways are a vital part of it. Today I’m visiting Norfolk to talk about the Government’s commitment to all of this. I’m coming here because this is the part of Britain – outside of London and the South East – where we're planning to put the most money into transport.
“So here in Norfolk there are going to be a number of improvements to the transport network. Work’s already got underway to widen the A11 between Fiveways and Thetford. I know how many problems there have been with congestion on these roads in recent years and we want to get these sorted out. On top of this, we’re also examining ways to cut journey times between London and Norwich by rail.
“As Britain comes out the other side of the Great Recession, I want Norfolk to be right at the heart of our recovery. There’s no reason why this can’t be the case – this is an area with great universities, great businesses, great traditional industries like agriculture and great new ones like sciences. What’s needed now is an all out commitment to make sure those jobs and opportunities flow here in the years to come. With this investment in infrastructure – the biggest since the Victorian era – I’m determined to make sure they do.”
Peter Aldous, the MP for Waveney who's been campaigning on this subject for months, told Heart: “The meeting with the Prime Minister gave us the chance to emphasise the opportunity in Lowestoft, particularly in the energy sector and the need to develop investment and grow our pool of skilled workers to maximise this potential.
"Today’s announcement on the A47 feasibility study which includes that section of the A12 which runs from Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft is particularly welcomed as this provides the opportunity to achieve a high-quality, strategic road link to North Suffolk. It also increases the prospects of obtaining additional investment for the transport network in and around Lowestoft and across Lake Lothing.”
Meanwhile the Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has written to MPs, local authorities and enterprise partnerships, whose constituencies lie within the region, to set out a brief summary of the proposals.
He says: “Good quality roads don’t just reduce congestion and improve safety, they boost the economy by unlocking growth. That’s why we are spending up to £50 billion over the next 15 years on upgrading the road network.
“The A47 and A12 are vital roads that give motorists and businesses access through the East of England and I want to ensure both provide the best service possible. These studies will ensure that investment will be targeted where it’s most needed.”