A11 inquiry adjourned for more than a week

Rebecca Gough A public inquiry into the dualling of the A11 was today adjourned until later this month when a major landowner, the Elveden Estate, will outline its concerns.

Rebecca Gough

THE public inquiry into the dualling of the A11 has been adjourned until later this month when a major landowner, the Elveden Estate, will outline its concerns.

A number of objectors have already appealed to the agency to reconsider the scheme, calling for a bypass of the notoriously busy Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills.

They have all backed the proposed dual carriageway between Thetford and the Fiveways roundabout but said without a bypass the four lanes would just serve to make the roundabout busier and delay traffic using the widened road.

Estate director Michael Douglas said the estate was also in favour of the works, but had run its own traffic models and wanted a way for motorists to enter and leave the A11 at the current B1112, just north of the Fiveways roundabout.

“There's a demand for the traffic to access the A11 at that point and our models are suggesting Fiveways will be adversely affected with more traffic there isn't access,” he said.

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Submissions already seen by the planning inspector, which will be summarised when the inquiry resumes on December 15, said: “If a grade separated junction were provided between the A11 and B1112 it would, in these circumstances, offer an important alternative route for local traffic and remove trips from having to pass through an already over-burdened Fiveways.”

It went on that the land needed to create a junction already belonged to the Elveden Estate which it would offer the Highways Agency without the need for a compulsory purchase order.

In conclusion to its evidence, representatives of the Elveden Estate will urge the inspector to identify the merits of an alternative scheme, already put forward as option two, to the Secretary of State. This would involve a compact grade separated junction at the A1106, at Elveden, and the B1112 to Lakenheath.

Last week the inquiry heard from independent objector Ian Horner, who reiterated his support for the scheme but said he also had concerns about access to the B1112.

He argued that by closing access to the B road from the A11, traffic at the Fiveways roundabout would increase.

“I fully support the objection by the Elveden Estate to the removal of the slip roads to the B1112 from the plan,” he added.

“This will force slow moving and heavy vehicles to go all the way down to the Barton Mills roundabout to access the B1112, thus creating extra traffic flows.”

He also urged for improved signage and resurfacing on the A11 south of Barton Mills although the Highways Agency said this did not fall into the remit of the scheme.

The inquiry, chaired by government planning inspector Neil Taylor, will reconvene on December 15 with the case for the Elveden Estate which will argue for a grade separated junction at the A11/B1112.

The inquiry is expected to close by December 18.