A11 land purchase bid launched

A massive operation to buy large chunks of land in Norfolk and Suffolk was launched by highways bosses yesterday as the project to dual the last section of single carriageway on the A11 got under way.

A massive operation to buy large chunks of land in Norfolk and Suffolk was launched by highways bosses yesterday as the project to dual the last section of single carriageway on the A11 got under way.

Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon this week confirmed that crucial improvement work to dual the last remaining single carriageway stretch of the road between Barton Mills and Thetford would start 18 months earlier than expected.

Now the Highways Agency has published its plans to compulsorily purchase land at Barton Mills, Mildenhall, Icklingham, Eriswell and Elveden - including some owned by holiday village operator Centre Parcs.

It will be used to dual nine miles of the A11 and create a bypass around the village of Elveden.

The bid to buy up the land using government powers was launched the same day as an official consultation on the long-awaited scheme.

Plans and draft orders, needed to legally approve the new road, have now been published and will be available to view at the Highways Agency offices in Bedford, council offices and local libraries.

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The scheme has been brought forward so that works could start in late 2010, subject to the outcome of the consultation and a potential public inquiry.

This would enable the scheme to open to traffic in early 2013, 18 months ahead of the previous timetable.

Public exhibitions will be held on:

Friday, December 5 at Barton Mills Village Hall, The Street, Barton Mills, IP28 6AA, from 10am-8pm

Saturday, December 6 at Elvedon Village Hall, Elveden, IP24 3TJ, from 10am-4pm

Tuesday, December 9 at The Guildhall, Carnegie Room, Cage Lane, Thetford, IP24 2DS from 11am-8pm.

Anyone who would like to comment on the proposals may do so up until 19 February 2009. Comments should be sent to the A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement Scheme, Highways Agency, Woodlands, Manton Lane, Bedford, MK41 7LW.

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