A47 Blofield to North Burlingham

We’re upgrading the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham to dual carriageway to ease congestion and support economic growth in the area.

Start date 2023-24
End date 2025-26
Cost £90 million-£100 million

Latest updates

  • 23 February 2024

    A47 schemes judicial review Court of Appeal outcome – Dismissed

    On 22 February, we received the outcome of the appeal against the Judicial Review Process for the three improvement schemes on the A47. 

    Three judges found that the Development Consent Orders (DCOs), previously granted by the Secretary of State for Transport, were properly assessed by the government for the cumulative effects of carbon, and will stand.  

    This means we can now begin work on developing our plans for the construction phase of the project and when we will be able to start work on the three schemes along the A47, improving customer journeys, enhancing safety and supporting economic growth in the region.   

    We will provide further updates on the progress of our plans and start of works in due course. 

  • 09 February 2024

    A47 junction closure , Yarmouth Road Blofield and Yarmouth Road

    Yarmouth Road Blofield at its junction with A47 will be closed to allow us to make improvements to the entrance to Blofield allotments car park.

    We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  • 03 November 2023

    Update on the legal challenge

    A legal case heard in July 2023 had challenged the decisions from the Secretary of State for Transport to grant development consent orders (DCOs) for this and two other A47 improvement schemes near Norwich. The High Court judge, Mrs Justice Thornton, dismissed the claimant’s argument.

    However, on 18 October 2023, the Court of Appeal granted the claimant a right to have his appeal heard. 

    We have been advised that the one-day hearing will be held on 16 January 2024. 

    Allowing the appeal to be heard is disappointing, causing further delay to these schemes. This is a difficult turn of events for those of us who recognise and support the safety case to upgrade key stretches of this very busy road.

    As we have done throughout this process, National Highways will continue to respect the decision of the court.

    In the meantime, we are taking time to fully consider our next steps. This includes what work can continue at our sites to ensure the areas remain safe and with as little disruption and disturbance to those living nearby as possible.

    For the A47 Blofield to North Burlingham and A47 Tuddenham to Easton schemes, we have completed a number of preconstruction works such as archaeology, surveys and utilities. Our contractors are in place and we will be ready to re-commence works once the legal process is concluded.

    We remain committed to delivering these plans, and confident that they will provide significant improvements to both safety and congestion on the A47, as well as helping to boost the regional economy.

  • 06 October 2023

    Planned road closures in October 2023

    As part of our early preparation work, we will be doing some vegetation clearance and building a new entrance to the site compound to allow access for site vehicles.

    We will also be temporarily installing vehicle restraining barriers, as well as verge and drainage work.

    In order to do the work safely, we need to close various parts of the road during September and October 2023.

    • From midnight on Monday 25 September 2023, there will be no access to High Noon Lane at its junction with the A47. This will be a permanent closure.
    • Overnight road closures from 8pm to 6am starting from Thursday 5 October through to Friday 13th October 2023, of the A47 eastbound and westbound between Brundall roundabout and Acle roundabout.
    • From 6am on Monday 9 October 2023, there will be no access to Lingwood Road at its junction with A47. This will also be a permanent closure.
    Full road closure: High Noon Lane at its junction with A47 

    From 12am (midnight) on Monday 25 September 2023, please use the following diversion routes.

    Northbound use A47 slip road marked Blofield Heath; left onto the slip road and at its junction with Shack Lane turn right. Shack Lane at its junction with Woodbastick Road turn right onto Woodbastick Road and at its junction with Plantation Road turn left. At Plantation Road’s junction with Bullacebush Lane turn right and follow the road until the junction with High Noon Lane. Turn right onto High Noon Lane. See map below.

    Southbound at High Noon Lane turn left at its junction with Bullacebush and then turn left at its junction with Plantation Road. Then turn left onto the A47 Slip road to join the A47 Yarmouth Road. See map below.

     

    Full road closure: Lingwood Road from 6am (midnight) on Monday 9 October 2023

    Northbound diversion via A47: exit at the slip road marked Acle Reedham and Upton and then take the third exit on the following roundabout. Drive over the bridge and take the first right turn marked Beighton Road which forms the slip road onto the A47, and follow A47 turning next left at B1140, Acle Road and follow this route which will become Lodge Road, School Road and Church Road (until such time as the B1140 is to be closed, then will share the same diversion route). See map below.

    Southbound diversion via Church Road: follow this route which will become School Road, Lodge Road, Acle Road & B1140. At its junction with A47 turn left on the A47 (until such time as the B1140 is to be closed then will share the same diversion route). See map below.

    A47 Blofield - Lingwood Road closure diversion route northbound (B1140 Acle Road open)

    A47 Blofield - Lingwood Road closure diversion route southbound (B1140 Acle Road open)

    Full overnight road closure: A47 eastbound and westbound carriageways between Brundall roundabout and Acle roundabout

    Overnight from 8pm to 6am from Thursday 5 October to Friday 13th October 2023.

    Other work in the area

    A47 Brundell roundabout with Cucumber Lane, Blofield during October and November 2023

    We're doing essential safety improvement work on the A47 between Brundall and Acle from 9 October to 10 November 2023.

    This work includes improving warning signs, road markings, road studs, vegetation clearance, verge reinstatement and carriageway resurfacing, which will ensure the A47 remains in a safe and serviceable condition. Work will take place at the following locations:

    • A47 Brundall roundabout
    • A47 eastbound at North Burlingham
    • A47 eastbound between North Burlingham and Acle.

    We plan to complete this work over five weeks between Monday 9 October and Friday 10 November. We will work between 8pm and 6am on weeknights only, weather conditions permitting.

    Closures and diversions

    To carry out the work safely, we will need to close the A47 and divert traffic as detailed below:

    Week 1: Full closure of A47 between Acle roundabout and Postwick interchange, in both directions

    Week 2: A47 Eastbound between Postwick interchange and Acle roundabout

    Week 3: A47 Westbound between Acle roundabout and Postwick interchange

    Week 4: Full closure of A47 between Acle roundabout and Postwick interchange, in both directions

    Week 5: Contingency - full closure of A47 between Acle roundabout and Postwick interchange, in both directions if needed.

    Strategic eastbound traffic will be diverted from the A47 at Trowse Newton to travel southbound on the A146. Traffic will then join the A143 at Gillingham to re-join the A47 at Beccles Road, A47 interchange.

    Westbound traffic will follow the same diversion as above but in reverse.

     

     

    Access to local villages

    To minimise disruption on locals, we are taking additional traffic management measures to enable access and egress from local villages. These are listed below:

    During weeks 1 and 3-5 of this scheme, despite the A47 being closed westbound at Acle roundabout, westbound traffic will still be able to access the A47 westbound between A47 Acle entry slip and Lingwood Rood. Traffic will reach a ‘hard’ closure point at High Noon Lane, Blofield, meaning access into Blofield and Brundall is maintained.

    Whilst work on Brundall roundabout takes place, temporary two-way lights will be stationed between the roundabout approaches at Cucumber Lane and Yarmouth Road, allowing the services to remain open and travel between Brundall and Blofield via Cucumber Lane.

     

  • 03 August 2023

    Update on the A47 Norwich schemes

    We have received notification that an appeal on the court’s decision to reject the claims in the judicial review of our three Norwich schemes has been submitted.

    What does this mean?

    The Court of Appeal must now decide whether to grant the claimant permission to appeal. National Highways will be taking all necessary steps to challenge the application. 

    Next steps

    To avoid any further delays, we can continue to carry out early works, such as archaeology, compound set up and utility diversions, on the schemes while we await the court’s decision.

    We stand by our plan to deliver these important schemes and remain confident they can deliver significant improvements to both safety and congestion on the A47, as well as providing a significant boost to the regional economy.

  • 07 July 2023

    A47 Norwich schemes – outcome of judicial review

    We have been informed by the High Court that the claims in the judicial review held on 10-11 May 2023 have been rejected, and found in favour of the Secretary of State for Transport.

    The judicial review challenged the decisions made by the Secretary of State for Transport in granting development consent orders (DCO) to three A47 road improvement schemes near Norwich.

    The news means that the DCO decisions for these schemes still stand.
    Among the main grounds for the legal challenges was how cumulative carbon is assessed by the government at a national level. This has been fundamentally rejected by the High Court on all grounds.

    We welcome the outcome, which means we can continue our work to deliver these much-needed schemes:

    • New dual carriageway and junctions between A47 Blofield and North Burlingham
    • New dual carriageway and junctions between A47 North Tuddenham and Easton 
    • Redevelopment of Thickthorn junction (where A11 meets the A47 south of Norwich)

    Next steps
    Work on these schemes has previously been limited while we were awaiting the outcome of the judicial review. Now that we have this clarity, we are working with our contractor to establish new construction timescales. We intend to start work on the three affected schemes as soon as possible.

    Face-to-face public information events
    Over the next few months, we’ll hold another round of face-to-face public information events. Come along to meet the team and hear about our construction plans at the following locations:

    Wednesday 26 July, 10am to 4pm at Norwich Camping and Leisure, 58 Yarmouth Road, Blofield, Norwich, NR13 4LQ 
    Thursday 27 July, 10am to 4pm at Acle Coop, Norwich Road, Acle, Norwich,              NR13 3BY 
    Friday 28 July, 8am to 6pm at Castle Quarter Shopping Centre, (near Starbucks) 100 Castle Mall, Norwich NR1 3DD
    Monday 4 September, 10am to 5pm at Tesco, Kingston Road, Dereham NR19, 1WB
    Monday 11 September, 9am to 4pm at Tesco, Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR4 6DZ 

     

  • 21 December 2022

    Update on the A47 legal challenge

    A legal challenge has been made to the Secretary of State (SoS) for Transport's decision to grant Development Consent Order (DCO) for our three A47 schemes:
    • A47 Blofield to North Burlingham
    • A47 North Tuddenham to Easton
    • A47/A11 Thickthorn junction


    The challenge mainly focuses on the way cumulative carbon assessments were carried out, along with local carbon plans, bat licences and the completeness of the briefings given to the Ministers prior to the decisions.


    On 14 December the High Court held an oral hearing for the claimant to put their arguments to a judge as to why the challenges should proceed to a judicial review. At this hearing the judge granted permission for a substantive hearing, mainly on the grounds of how cumulative carbon is assessed by government at a national level, so the case will now progress to a full judicial review.


    A judicial review is the process of challenging the lawfulness of decisions made by public authorities, including central government, so this will now decide whether the SoS acted lawfully. The challenge to the A47 schemes is not on the schemes themselves, but to the process of approving the DCOs.


    Delay to our schemes


    This means we cannot start work as soon as we had originally planned on the three A47 schemes and have had to delay the improvements our customers have asked us for.


    Our continued commitment


    We stand by our plans and remain committed to investing almost half a billion pounds on a series of improvements to the A47 the people and businesses of East Anglia have told us they want. These will make the road safer, connect local communities and deliver a huge economic boost to the region.


    Over the last three months we have held a series of public information events, attended by over 800 people, and the feedback from our stakeholders was positive towards our A47 schemes.


    We will now work with the Department for Transport, ahead of the case being heard in full.

    More information


    • Drive to reducing carbon emissions Net Zero Highways.
    • Commitment to no net loss of biodiversity across all projects by 2025 Biodiversity Plan.

    To make sure you know what’s coming up, sign up to our regular project updates by using the link on the right-hand side of this page.

     

  • 28 November 2022

    Overnight work, 29 November to 1 December 2022

    We’ll be doing shallow digging work (trial holes) to better understand the type of soils, rock, and ground conditions surrounding the existing A47 road, as part of our survey work on the A47 Blofield to North Burlingham scheme. This is not the start of construction.

    The work will take place on the A47 westbound from Acle roundabout to the B1140 between 9pm and 6am on:

    • Tuesday 29 November
    • Wednesday 30 November
    • Thursday 1 December.

    To allow us to complete this work safely, one lane of the road will be closed overnight.

    On Thursday night we will also have 3-way traffic lights in place at the B1140 and Acle Road junction.

    We’d like to apologise for any disturbance caused by our work, and we will try to keep this to a minimum where possible.

  • 30 September 2022

    Attend our public drop-in events

    We’ve recently been granted planning consent to proceed with our improvements to the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. We will shortly be starting preparatory work ahead of construction.

    You can find out more about our plans and speak to our construction and project team at the following public drop-in events:

     

    Friday 11 November 2022, midday to 8pm  

    Heathersett Village Hall, Back Lane, Hethersett, Norwich, NR9 3JJ 

     

    Tuesday 15 November 2022, 8am to 4pm  

    Co-op Acle, Norwich Rd, Acle, Norwich NR13 3BY  

     

    Friday 18 November 2022, 9am to 4pm  

    The Willow Centre, Willow Croft Way, Cringleford NR4 7JJ  

     

    Friday 25 November 2022, 10am to 6pm  

    East Tuddenham Hall, Dereham, Norfolk NR20 3LR 

     

    Wednesday 30 November 2022, 8am to 4pm  

    Waitrose Wymondham Norwich Rd, Wymondham NR18 0SH  

     

    Thursday 1 December 2022 POSTPONED due to venue double-booking*

    Chantry Place, St Stephens St, Norwich NR1 3SH 

     

    Friday 2 December 2022, 8am to 5pm  

    Hay Hill Haymarket, Market Place, Norwich NR2 1ND 

     

    Friday 9 December 2022, 8am to 5pm  

    Castle Quarter Shopping Centre, Castle Meadow, Norwich NR1 3DD

     

    Monday 16 January 2023, 9am to 6pm (*new date for previously postponed event) 

    Chantry Place, St Stephens St, Norwich NR1 3SH 

  • 22 June 2022

    Development Consent Order given the green light

    Today we welcomed the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision to grant us a planning application called a Development Consent Order (DCO), which allows us to proceed with our plans to improve the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham.   

    This scheme is to the east of Norwich and will create a new 1.6 mile (2.6km) section of two-lane dual carriageway, remove unsafe side roads, and improve safety with two new junctions with bridges for the B1140 and to connect Blofield and Burlingham.  

    Traffic modelling data from 2019 shows this section of the A47 is used by over 30,000 vehicles a day, and currently has one of the highest recorded accident rates for an A-road in the UK. The changes will improve road safety by reducing the numbers of accidents and consequently the number of casualties:  the improvements should save a total of 190 accidents and 29 people killed or seriously injured over a 60-year timeframe. 

    We will be 'de-trunking' the existing A47 road for use by local traffic and creating new cycling and walking routes to improve safety for these and other vulnerable users.  

    View the Secretary of State’s decision letter here.

    For more information on our DCO and to view our DCO documents,  please visit the scheme page on the Planning Inspectorate website. 

    Keeping you informed  

    We plan to start work in autumn 2022. To keep you updated on scheme progress, we will:  

    • Issue regular scheme newsletters.  
    • Organise face-to-face public information events from August, using our engagement van at local venues. These will provide information about the scheme and allow us to answer any questions you may have. 
    • Hold online briefings in September, where you will have the opportunity to ask the team any questions and find out more about our scheme. 

    We will provide you with more details on our face-to-face events and online briefings on this page in the next few weeks. To make sure you know what’s coming up, sign up to our regular project updates by using the link on the right-hand side of this page.    

  • 23 December 2021

    Examination is now closed

    The Development Consent Order (DCO) examination for the A47 Blofield to North Burlingham closed on 22 December 2021.

    The Planning inspectorate will now prepare a report, including a recommendation, within three months of the close of examination and send this to the relevant Secretary of State.

    The Secretary of State then has a further three months to make the decision on whether to grant or refuse the DCO.

    For more information on the DCO process, our application or to sign up for updates please visit our scheme page on the Planning Inspectorate website.

     

  • 03 November 2021

    Planning Inspector hearing dates

    The Planning Inspector's hearings were held from 16 August and the Hearing agendas published.

    Those who requested to attend Hearings were sent the joining details the day before by the Planning Inspectorate. The hearings were also broadcast live via https://www.liveeventstream.online/planning-inspectorate-a47blofield

    If you have any questions about the hearings process, please contact the Planning Inspectorate at A47BlofieldtoNorthBurlingham@planninginspectorate.gov.uk

    More information is available on the Planning Inspectorate website

  • 21 July 2021

    Resurfacing work at A47 Blofield junction in September

    We are planning to carry out essential resurfacing work at the A47 Blofield junction. The work is likely to take around seven weeks, and we'll be working during week nights only starting from 13 September until 5 November, subject to weather conditions.

    We are currently agreeing the most suitable diversion routes with the local councils

  • 06 April 2021

    Ground investigations and surveys

    We’ll be carrying out some important surveys and ground investigations work in the area from March to July 2021. These will give us a clearer picture of the condition of the existing road, as well as types of soils, rock types and the ground water levels, where we are proposing to upgrade the road. This work will help us start to plan the work safely and economically, ahead of the next stage in the project. However, this is not the start of construction.   

    You can expect to see survey vehicles and equipment in operation on the A47 from Blofield to North Burlingham and the surrounding area, including some on private property such as farms and nearby land.

    Some of the surveys will take place on roads, so we will need to make some lane closures for the safety of our workforce.

    Lane closures during the surveys  

    The surveys will take place on both the A47 Blofield to North Burlingham (approximately 4 kilometres) and the local roads nearby this.

    Survey work will take place on weekdays only.

    Location

    What you’ll see

    Date

    Time

    Single lane local roads

    Lane closures with two-way and three-way traffic lights

    6 April to 7 May
     

    7.30am to 5.30pm

    A47 – dual carriageway sections

    High speed lane closures

    19 April to 4 June

    9pm to 6am

    A47 – single lane sections

    Traffic signals

    19 April to 4 June

    9pm to 6am

    Single lane local roads

    Stop/Go and Give Way signs

    19 April to 6 May

    7.30am to 5.30pm

     

    We’ll be posting updates regularly from our regional Twitter feed @HighwaysEAST and Facebook page @HighwaysEAST

    Types of surveys we’ll be carrying out:

    • Topographical surveys, which are aerial surveys to understand the existing levels of the area
    • Utility trial holes to identify the precise location of existing services and utilities
    • Ground investigations to understand the existing environment and subsoil elements in order to ensure the chosen design is a workable solution
    • Road surveys, which are a series of tests on the existing road to determine its condition, depth and materials.

    Where survey work is due to take place next to residential properties, we will write to those residents in advance to let them know what is happening and when. We have advised landowners where we need access to their land.

    We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this survey work, and we thank you for your understanding.

  • 26 February 2021

    Planning Inspectorate acceptance of scheme submission

    We are pleased to announce that our Development Consent Order Application was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in December 2020. It has subsequently been accepted in January 2021, allowing us to progress through to examination. The next steps in the process can be found on the Planning Inspectorate's website.

    Members of the public were able to register to participate in the examination and provide a response to our application during the Relevant Representation period until 6 April 2021. 

    Details of how to respond are available on the A47 Blofield to North Burlingham Planning Inspectorate's web page.

    The Section 56 Notice notifies the public that the Blofield to North Burlingham Development Consent Order application has been accepted for examination. View the Section 56 Notice.

    We are continuing to carry out ground investigations and other survey works to progress a more detailed design for this scheme.

  • 14 September 2020

    Proposed design refined following consultation

    Since our public consultation in 2018, we have made further refinements to our proposed design. We are now sharing our current plans for this scheme that will relieve congestion and improve safety.

    We held a statutory consultation in autumn 2018, based on the route shown in our Preferred Route Announcement. We received 767 responses. Your feedback showed that 63% wanted us to improve the road and agreed that our proposals would help reduce congestion and shorten journey times.

    Based on the feedback, we have refined our proposals to address the common themes and concerns raised, whilst ensuring that the project solves the traffic problem, improves journey times and improves safety as key considerations. You can view our latest design in our summer 2020 project update.

    We have also done more ground investigations and surveys, including using radar to detect underground plastic water and gas pipes; traffic surveys; and air quality monitoring. Environment and ecology surveys are continuing.

    We have been talking to affected landowners, local authorities, parish councils and environmental bodies. We have met with local landowners and will be meeting with more residents in the local area over the coming months.

    We successfully completed the archaeological trial trenching in June this year.

Project information

Overview

We are going to replace the existing single-lane section of the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham with a new two-lane dual carriageway. This will be 70m south of the existing road.

We'll make safety improvements to the Yarmouth Road junction, closing the right turn and adding a dedicated lane to join the A47. We will also add a new bridge over the new dual carriageway. This will connect the villages of Blofield and North Burlingham, and take traffic from Blofield toward Great Yarmouth.

In addition, we also are making changes to the east junction, with a new two-tier junction connecting B1140 South Walsham Road (north of the A47) with B1140 Coxhill Road (south of the A47).

For safety reasons, we are going to close the direct access from Lingwood Road and Lingwood Lane to this part of the A47 when it becomes a dual carriageway.

With this scheme, we’re aiming to: 

  • improve safety and reduce collisions 
  • help sustainable economic growth by supporting employment and residential development opportunities 
  • reduce delays and make journey times more reliable  
  • improve amenities for cyclists and pedestrians 

Documents

The Development Consent Order (DCO) process was established by the Planning Act 2008 and is used for certain large and complex schemes (including highway improvements) that have been designated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) by the Government.

Links to key Blofield to North Burlingham DCO documentation can be found below:

Register of Requirements for the Blofield to North Burlingham Development Consent Order 2022

Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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