13,000 join dual the A11 call

A six-week public petition came to a close yesterday as the number of people calling on the government to complete the dualling of the A11 hit the 13,000 mark.

A six-week public petition came to a close on Wednesday last week as the number of people calling on the government to complete the dualling of the A11 hit the 13,000 mark.

Officials from Norfolk County Council have now begun the process of collecting all forms from local businesses and libraries across Norfolk and Suffolk, which they hope will persuade the new transport minister to connect Norwich and London with a continuous dual carriageway as soon as possible.

Staff from the county council finished the public petition where they started it as they collected 632 signatures at the Tesco supermarket in Thetford.

Daniel Cox, leader of Norfolk County Council, is set to deliver all the collected petitions to the Department for Transport in London later this month.

However, the council has yet to hear from Geoff Hoon, the new secretary of state for transport, after a request was made to meet him over the £135m dualling project between Thetford and Barton Mills.

More than 13,500 signatures have so far been collected and almost 3,000 web users have joined a 'dual the A11' group on the social networking site Facebook to pressurise the government to start work in 2010.

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The end of the public petition came as Christopher Fraser, MP for South West Norfolk, also wrote to Mr Hoon asking for a meeting to discuss his intended approach to the nine-mile A11 upgrade. The Tory MP said he did not receive a reply from Ruth Kelly after he wrote to her two weeks ago following the news that she was stepping down from the cabinet.

“I asked for her assurances that the A11 project would not get sidelined as a result of cabinet reshuffles and I will be calling for these same assurances from Geoff Hoon. I am determined to ensure that the campaign will not lose momentum.

“I want to make clear to Geoff Hoon that upgrading the A11 will be vital in helping Norfolk to fulfil its economic potential. The government must not put this project on the backburner - the people of Norfolk deserve better,” said Mr Fraser.

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