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Video: Final cones moved away and the A11 is now a fully-dualled road

14:30 12 December 2014

The soon to open dual carriageway on the A11 at Elveden, Norfolk. Photo : Steve Adams

The soon to open dual carriageway on the A11 at Elveden, Norfolk. Photo : Steve Adams

Archant

Thirty years of campaigning and traffic headaches have come to an end as the vision of a fully-dualled A11 is finally realised.

Click here to view the graphic

As roadworks were this morning removed from the 9.1 mile Barton Mills to Thetford stretch of road, drivers will be able to travel on the £102m section of dual carriageway for the first time.

Developers Balfour Beatty and the Highways Agency have downed tools after nearly two years of work, which began in January 2013.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin will head to Norfolk later today to mark the final piece of jigsaw which gives the region a dual carriageway link to London.

Campaigners will gather to herald the signal that Norfolk is now more than ever a great place to do business.

The project was greenlit in the 2010 Autumn Spending Review following three decades of campaigning, started in 1984.

According to politicians and the business community, the opening will bring a raft of opportunities for Norfolk, with the Government promising that every pound spent on the project will see a return of £17.

And Norfolk County Council say that could mean more than £700m over the next 60 years.

Commuters and hauliers are also set to benefit from the road’s opening, with faster journey times and safer travel promised by the Highways Agency.

Our special souvenir supplement, included with today’s newspaper, takes a comprehensive look at the road’s history, the fight to have it fully dualled, and how the work was carried out.

Today Prime Minister David Cameron joins the voices citing the opening as putting Norfolk and Suffolk in the fast lane to success.

Writing in our souvenir supplement, Mr Cameron said the Government had “made Norfolk a priority” by initially committing £105m to the scheme, despite a struggling economy.

“When this government came into office, after the worst recession in peacetime history and with one of the worst deficits in the developed world, we could have easily put it off.

“We could have said ‘these are tough times, the country cannot afford it’, and put it back on the backburner.

“But despite the tough times, despite the constraints on public spending, we made Norfolk a priority and put up £105 million for the A11 dualling and the Elveden bypass.”

Stakeholders from the surrounding area have been invited to a special event to mark the opening.

Drivers can still expect to see minor works being carried out on the road in the coming months, according to the Highways Agency.

31 comments

  • JackH-1938, not travelled on the A14 much have you ?

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Spork-Pies

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

  • Guess it now quicker and cheaper to get to Liverpool street by car now .

    Report this comment

    J.island

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

  • I agree let's do A47 next and get this terrific county moving .

    Report this comment

    J.island

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

  • I think a fine city they just want to go back to the past, I was going to say the 1950's but I suspect really they would quite like pre-Roman before all these nasty foreigners turned up and you had to walk everywhere.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

  • The usual miseries on these comment sections should keep left and stick at 40 if they loved the single lane road so much. However do they cope on a motorway? (Look it up).

    Report this comment

    a fine city

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

  • Quite right Jack. Not to mention the fact there is likely to be a lot less accidents on the stretch because impatient drivers won't feel the need, like they did before, to overtake stupidly on hitting the slow congested single carriageway section at Elvedon.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • Agreed that the time saving compared to old single lane road is only a few minutes WHEN ALL IS RUNNING SMOOTHLY. But whereas the most minor accident on the old road could result in a delay measured in hours, with a dual carriageway a similar minor incident might well mean just a trivial delay. This is the real benefit of the road being dualled

    Report this comment

    JackH-1938

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • I usually average about 40 mph through that section prior to the new dual carriageway, today I kept just under 70 mph. So in total It was about 3 . 5 minutes quicker. So in my opinion and other than the safety aspect, £102 million seems a lot of money for so little gain and furthermore, how is this minuscule gain going to bring £millions to the local economy? I am beginning to think it's just a load more political spin, by both local and national politicians and media.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • Great news. Now to start a campaign for the Norwich Northern Bypass (NNB).

    Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • My son used it today (off peak) he was 5 minutes quicker each way, that's a whole 10 minutes extra he has to himself.

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    Heading for Squalor

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • bushiee

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • The first step to opening up the best city in the UK! Just need to sort out the A47 and A17 to get out of the county towards the north and west too!

    Report this comment

    bushiee

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • I'd have rather seen a barrier with passport control placed there.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • If we end up with frequent bottlenecks at Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills, then will it all be worth it? Surely something should have been done to speed-up or even by-pass this roundabout, which carries the bulk of the A11 North-South traffic?

    Report this comment

    victor.harman7

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • This scheme is described as the last stretch of the A11 to be dualled. OK but I have always considered the road beyond Thetford to be in two sections. The more important is an Elveden bypass with dualled link to Thetford - possibly with a grade-separated junction where the new dualling now starts. The second would be from near Elveden memorial to beyond the Fiveways roundabout. This junction would have a flyover. The gaps in the A11 towards Red Lodge being made safe as well.

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    Capri

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • Great news for those that travel on that road, but I would think even better news for the people of Elvedon. I bet the price of properties have increased in value by some considerable percentage, and good luck to them, they deserve it after all those years of constant jams outside there driveways.

    Report this comment

    "Bin here all me life"

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • A great benefit to Norfolk, Norwich is no longer the only Major Town not connected to London by a dual carriageway. But why didn't they bypass the bottleneck roundabout at Barton Mills? As for all the negative comments I can see some real political bias coming out.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk Lad

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • Dave Cam is so right. In spite of the struggling economy - the first time he has admitted as much in the lifetime of this parliament - there is always money to sink into substantial infrastructure 'glamour projects'. After all, the bumper profits for the construction companies and their suppliers will, in part, flow back as donations to the Conservative Party. So you see, everyone's a winner, well at least all the weekenders from London are. As for Thetford becoming a hub, the new road provides excellent access to this remote part of the country for criminal gangs from London, or did you mean a hub for drug distribution. We count the proceeds of crime in the GDP nowadays, so Osborne won't complain. LOL

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Spork-Pies

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • It does mean you can locate further West out of Norfolk and still transport to the coast. A much needed road to help get out of the County.Motorways next

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    Andy T

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • The right wing baby boomers, who normally dominate theses forums, don't seem to have read this report or seen the supplement in the paper. It is an advert for various businesses in Norfolk. If the A47 is to be dualled scrap the NDR. If there was a western bypass for Norwich from near Longwater to near the airport the benefits of a dualled A11 will be closer to the hyped up numbers being quoted.

    Report this comment

    Capri

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • I still cannot see the justification for this, seems to be all grasping at straws for business. follow the A1 M1M40M4.... need I go on, all these roads were vital business links, now they lead to many derelict brownfield sites. they were our business infrastructure, the amount of money which is going to be invested by our councils in the area for business premises, housing etc is scandalous. Thetford, Attleborough, etc many brownfield sites empty business units. if we were needing extra business sites the ones we have already would be used, grasping at straws begging for business growth, maybe a dual carriageway to the far easteastern europe would be more appropriate, as this is where U.K.business seem to favour.

    Report this comment

    kevin a

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • A really good piece of news for Norfolk and half of the posters on here are being negative - sums up how pointless Archant's comments pages are really.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • Celebration? More like Norfolk should be thoroughly ashamed it took this long. I hope Patrick comes up to Norwich by train and then with a bit of luck, he'll see that needs his attention next.

    Report this comment

    JanieH

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • David - the single carriageway is dangerous and was in vast need of improvement. If you're not happy with dualling the road what do you want done with the A47?

    Report this comment

    Adam Francis

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • Norfolk and Suffolk have waited 4 decades for this 7 mile stretch of dualled carriageway. Thetford will become a hub over the years now and Norfolk is open for business - some actual GOOD news.

    Report this comment

    Testing_times

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • About bl**dy time! Finally Norfolk moves into the 20th century (yes I mean 20th not 21st). I have been using this road since I learnt first started learning to drive back in the 1970's. In that time a Norfolk business I was involved with has closed with the loss of 200+ jobs, one of the key factors in the closure being Norfolk's hopeless road connections and the cost to transport goods. How many more Norfolk businesses have packed up thanks to our in-adequate roads? How many lives lost and ruined from accidents? 30+ years waiting is far too long. I hope it does not take another 30 years before the A47 is dualled, after all we have only been talking about doing that since the 1930s!!!

    Report this comment

    Lord 'Elp-Us

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • Cones moved out and speed camera vans moved in!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • Perhaps the 4 or 5 fatal accidents per year will be reduced. That sounds quite good.

    eccles-camauro

    Report this comment

    Bruvver Eccles

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • complete waste of money a flyover at elvedon would of been a lot cheaper and left the rest single carriageway . They could of spent the other £80m plus on the a47

    Report this comment

    david106

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • Why people are getting so excited about a bit of road that saves 3 mins off-peak is beyond me.

    Report this comment

    Heading for Squalor

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • The final paragraph mentions possible temporary closures in the future. A reason for why the road did not open earlier? As we know Archant often publish articles on road building. Whenever I see journalists when out and about they are always driving expensive cars..

    Report this comment

    Capri

    Friday, December 12, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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