THE £131 million dualling of a notorious stretch of Suffolk road has moved closer after government bosses promised work would begin next week.
Advance work on the nine-mile stretch of the A11 from Barton Mills to Thetford will start on Monday to ensure that the full project will come in on schedule.
MPs Matthew Hancock and Elizabeth Truss were ‘delighted’ with the news.
Mr Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, said: “People have been waiting for decades to see work start on the dualling of the A11. The A11 through Suffolk is the lifeline to Norfolk and desperately needs to be dualled.
“The improved road will be much safer and will help unlock business potential that has been held back by poor transport infrastructure.”
In March, Mike Penning, roads minister, promised that the scheme would deliver £17 in return for every pound spent on the work.
Ms Truss insisted that this was one of the major benefits of the dualling.
“I am absolutely delighted that this advance work has been brought forward by a year to enable construction to start on time.
“This will mean that businesses can develop their investment plans with confidence. Key infrastructure projects such as this are vital to the future growth not only to Norfolk and Suffolk but for the country as a whole,” she said.
A pledge to dual the section –notorious for tailbacks at peak times – was made last year. Last April, the Government promised to begin the work in 2012.
Advance work on the project will allow construction to begin on time and avoid complications caused by bad weather.
Initial work will focus on an access road for large vehicles on the Elveden Estate.
The project will see the stretch from the Barton Mills Fiveways roundabout to the Thetford Bypass dualled.
It is hoped that construction will be completed by 2014/2015.