A47 Harfrey's roundabout, Great Yarmouth junction improvements
We’re making improvements to Harfrey's roundabout in Great Yarmouth town to reduce congestion and improve safety in the area.
The A47 route is the only east to west road link in north East Anglia. It is the main road link between the East Midlands region, Peterborough, Wisbech, King’s Lynn, Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
The Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing, linking the A47 at Harfrey’s roundabout to the port is currently under construction by Norfolk County Council, and will help reduce congestion and improve access to the A47. However, increased traffic in the future is still likely to constrain long-term economic growth in Great Yarmouth. This is why we are making changes to two of the roundabouts in town.
Traffic studies show that improving A47 Great Yarmouth junctions at the Vauxhall roundabout and the Harfrey’s roundabout would make journeys quicker, safer and more reliable, allow for increased future traffic and help grow the local economy.
The Vauxhall roundabout is the principal access into the town from the west via the Acle Straight. Read more about the changes we're proposing to Vauxhall roundabout in Great Yarmouth.
Following the preferred route announcement in August 2017, the original proposals were reviewed in light of the town’s Third River Crossing, which was awarded government funding shortly after our original proposals were announced.
The modelling completed for the Third River Crossing project showed notable changes in the way traffic accessed Great Yarmouth town and port areas.
The Department for Transport agreed that we should pause work on our original proposed designs to undertake further traffic modelling and assessment.
We then worked collaboratively with Norfolk County Council to review the changes in traffic flows and the impact on traffic using the A47 and its junctions.
Originally, we proposed to improve the Vauxhall and Gapton roundabouts. However, updated traffic modelling showed that these changes would no longer bring the intended benefits to the future road network, once the Third River Crossing is complete. We are now looking at improving the Vauxhall and Harfrey’s roundabouts instead.
When the Third River Crossing is operational, Harfrey’s roundabout will become the principal access into the town from the south. Our proposals were therefore redesigned to take these new circumstances into account. As a result, we are no longer looking to change the Gapton roundabout, and will make improvements to the Harfrey's roundabout.
We are still developing proposals for improvements to the Vauxhall roundabout, but improvements to the junction with Station Road have been removed from the design as this work has already been completed by Norfolk County Council.
In summer 2022, we did important surveys in the areas around the Vauxhall and Harfrey’s roundabouts. These included ecology, noise and landscape surveys that will help us to refine our design and ensure we reduce our impact on the surrounding environment. We also carried out ground investigations at the Vauxhall roundabout.
During 2023, we've continued with our surveys at Vauxhall roundabout, including surveys of the existing carriageway and embankments to help guide our design. The investigations give engineers a clearer picture of the type of soils, rock and groundwater beneath the area of the roundabout, but this is not the start of any construction work.
The stretch of the A47 around Great Yarmouth experiences heavy congestion during peak times. The proposed schemes will increase capacity of the existing junctions to relieve congestion, reduce journey times, encourage economic growth and improve journeys.
This project aims to:
- improve safety and reduce collisions
- reduce delays and make journey times more reliable
- increase the ability of the junctions to cope with incidents such as collisions and breakdowns, or during road maintenance and extreme weather
- approve amenities for cyclists and pedestrians.
Because we’d updated our proposals for the A47 Great Yarmouth Junctions Improvements, we asked you to share your thoughts, concerns, ideas or local knowledge.
The scheme update period for the A47 Great Yarmouth Junctions Improvements reached its conclusion on Monday 10 January 2022, after running for six weeks. During this period, we shared our updated designs for the Harfrey’s and Vauxhall roundabouts and invited feedback from the public and stakeholders. There was a leaflet which provided more detail about the latest design. We also held three in-person events and hosted a virtual exhibition room. All feedback received during the period was formally reviewed by the project team.
You can read more about the past consultations for this scheme, including the A47 Great Yarmouth junction improvements consultation held from 13 March 2017 to 21 April 2017.