A11 inquiry plans revealed

A public inquiry into the proposed dualling of the last single stretch of the A11 will be held at the end of November.

A public inquiry into the proposed dualling of the last single stretch of the A11 will be held at the end of November.

A pre-inquiry meeting in Thetford yesterday laid out the format the inquiry will take and set a deadline for objectors to register their case.

Government inspector Neil Taylor led the meeting at the Carnegie Room, on Cage Lane and outlined the main issues to be raised at the inquiry proper.

The �150m improvement is scheduled to start in late 2010, but concerns have been raised including the volume of traffic using the Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills.

This has prompted three people to submit a total of four alternative plans, which will be available for people to comment on from the end of this week, for 14 days, and which aim to take traffic away from the Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills.

Other concerns which arose at the pre-inquiry, and which will be dealt with in more depth in November, included the impact on the surrounding environment and wildlife, although the RSPB and Natural England are in talks with the Highways agency and were hopeful of a resolution before the inquiry.

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Mr Taylor said he would carry out a site visit during the inquiry, on which people could accompany him, and added: “Inquiries are not about surprises. They're about having the right evidence and information and all parties having a say.

“I really need to get to the truth and think about things that are important to your cause.”

All relevant documents will be available to view until November 5 at the highways division of the county council at Bury St Edmunds, Forest Heath District Council Offices, Thetford Library and the highways offices in Bedford.

Anyone wishing to speak at the public inquiry is now asked to submit their proof of evidence to the Highways Agency by the end of business on Monday, October 26.

At the end of the inquiry Mr Taylor will produce a report which he will submit to the secretary of state, who will then make a decision on the future of the scheme.

t The inquiry will begin at 10am on November 24, at Elveden Village Hall.

It is not known how long it will last, but from Tuesdays until Thursdays it will run from 10am until 5pm, and on Fridays, from 9.30am until 3pm.