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Norfolk Chamber: Business needs to see more investment in Norfolk’s strategic infrastructure
Ahead of the general election, Norfolk Chamber is setting out the key Norfolk business asks for any future government and is calling for more strategic infrastructure improvements.
Norfolk has a vibrant and diverse business community, but a key barrier to future economic growth for those businesses is our physical infrastructure i.e. roads and rail links.
Nova Fairbank, Public Affairs Manager for Norfolk Chamber said:
“Infrastructure on its own does not create jobs, it is the business community who do. Norfolk Chamber wants to see that agreed transport improvements are delivered on time; further infrastructure barriers are removed; and new opportunities created, to ensure that Norfolk businesses have the levels of infrastructure needed to create new jobs and economic growth.”
The key Chamber member infrastructure asks are:
Norfolk Chamber is calling for more sections of the A47 to be dualled, including the Acle Straight and the section between Tilney to East Winch, near King’s Lynn, as well as the Hardwick flyover.
Jonathan Cage, President of Norfolk Chamber and Managing Director of Create Consulting Engineers said:
“Norfolk Chamber is working in partnership with the A47 Alliance and its members to ensure that more improvements are delivered along the length of the A47 from Peterborough in the West to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft in the East.
“A fully dualled A47 will help to boost the economic prosperity of Norfolk and a large part of the east of England, and will make a significant contribution to the national economy. A47 improvements could help deliver over 16,000 more jobs, over 10,000 new homes and an increase of £706m per annum in the economic output within 20 years.”
Peter Brown, Managing Director of Jack Richards & Son said:
“At present the A47 creates a bottleneck out of Norfolk towards our markets in the Midlands and the North adding significant costs for manufacturing companies based in our county. We urgently need investment to relieve this restriction and give Norfolk business’s the opportunity to flourish.”
Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing
A third river crossing would ease congestion, improve connectivity to key growth areas such as the Enterprise Zones. The Norfolk Chamber and its members have supported the local authorities to submit the business case for £1.2m of funding to the Department of Transport in March 2017. Norfolk Chamber is calling for a swift response from the Department of Transport by summer 2017.
Commenting on the need for a third river crossing, Neil Orford, President of Great Yarmouth Chamber Council said:
“A third river crossing in Great Yarmouth will help to improve that connectivity and create lots of new jobs. It will improve links across the town and to the rest of the region and reduce congestion. All of which will save businesses time and money, whilst allowing them to increase economic growth.”
Whilst the Greater Anglia rail franchise is set to deliver brand new rolling stock, improvements on the Greater Eastern Mainline between Norwich in London are urgently needed to ensure the franchise can meet its full potential. Improvements to safety, journey times, capacity and frequency cannot be achieved unless upgrades those needed in the Ely area to signalling, junctions and a bridge; the Suffolk Haughley junction; doubling of Norwich Trowse swing bridge; the South Colchester loops; South Chelmsford re-signalling and level crossing closures.
Commenting on the need to improve the rail infrastructure, Simon Watson, Partner at Lovewell Blake in Norwich said:
“The improvement of rail links between Norwich and London is vitally important to both Lovewell Blake and our clients. The continued economic growth in our region is becoming increasingly reliant on business opportunities, both nationally and internationally, needing to be accessed via the capital. We have heartily welcomed the new rail franchise and are looking forward to the delivery of new trains. However improvements to track infrastructure between Norwich and London would greatly enhance the attraction of doing business with Norfolk businesses and would facilitate attracting the calibre of people required by employers in our region.”