Work to start on long-awaited £7m Beccles relief road
PUBLISHED: 11:45 11 November 2016
Archant Norfolk © 2016
A long-awaited new road for Beccles which is set to remove heavy traffic from the town and boost the local economy has finally been given the green light.
Work will start on the Beccles Southern Relief Road in early spring, more than a year behind schedule after complications with purchasing the land held up the process.
A compulsory purchase order was needed to give the council the right to obtain the land the road will be built on without the consent of the owner.
Objections were made to that order and a public inquiry took place during the summer.
The Secretary of State for Transport has now confirmed the compulsory purchase and side roads orders and plans for the £7m road can proceed.
The new road will link the A146 Norwich to Lowestoft Road to the north of Beccles with the A145 and A12 Ipswich Road, at the southern end of the town.
Beccles mayor Graham Catchpole said the town had been waiting for this news for many years.
“When it is completed, hopefully in 2018, it will enable us to start the process of restricting the flow of heavy goods vehicles throughout the town centre and make the shopping experience much more pleasant,” he said. “It will significantly reduce all traffic flow and help the bottlenecks of Ingate and St George’s Road.
“I am slightly disappointed that a way couldn’t be found to allow access directly from the Banham Road area onto the relief road, but the pluses far outweigh any minuses.
“The road will open up a whole new dimension for our town and importantly make the Ellough Enterprise Zone much more attractive to businesses and boost employment opportunities.”
The relief road will link the A145 London Road to Ellough to the south east of the town, providing faster access to Beccles Business Park and the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone, which together with the B1127 Copland Way will form a southern and eastern bypass of Beccles.
It will signal less congestion for Beccles as traffic will no longer need to travel through the town centre.
Mark Bee, Suffolk county councillor for Beccles said: “I am delighted that work on the Beccles Southern Relief Road can begin in the next few months.
“It cannot come sooner enough for Beccles and Worlingham, which has for a long time had to endure traffic congestion and we look to the positive impact it will have on the local economy.”
The road is expected to take 18 months to build and is being funded with £5m from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and £2m from Suffolk County Council.
Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: “I would like to thank all who have campaigned for many years to get the road built and for those who have seen this project through. Once the timetable of work has been finally agreed we can look forward to seeing construction getting under way, hopefully in the next few months.”
James Finch, cabinet member for highways and transport, added: “Work is now being undertaken to complete the purchase, the design of the scheme and it’s construction. We expect work on the ground to start early in the new year.”