Alternative schemes put forward for A11

A handful of alternative schemes have been proposed to help address objectors' concerns about the proposed dualling of the A11.

A handful of alternative schemes have been proposed to help address objectors' concerns about the proposed dualling of the A11.

While most are not opposed to the changes in theory, there were some concerns traffic would increase at the Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills.

This has prompted three people to submit a total of four alternative plans which are available for the public to comment on.

Published by the Highways Agency, objector's alternative number one proposes to bypass the Fiveways roundabout with a diversion about 2km to the south.

This would then pass under a new Tuddenham Road overbridge, continue north and rejoin the proposed mainline 4km north of the roundabout.

Plans by objector two would involve connector roads linking the northbound and southbound A11 carriageways at the B1112 crossing; while objector's alternative three goes one step further and proposes connecting the C616 to the B1112 via a parallel road outside the main highway.

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Alternative four would include a cycleway with access from the B1112 onto the northbound A11 and access off the A11 onto the B road only from the southbound carriageway.

Mike Brown, spokesperson for Gateway A11 East which has campaigned for work to begin as soon as possible said he could not comment on the plans themselves, but added: “Whilst we can see the merit in amendments to the Barton Mills roundabout, any further delays to this road are costing not just Thetford millions, but the county tens of millions in lost trade and lost investment.

“On balance we would prefer the original scheme to go ahead and to look at the amendments as a separate project. Whilst that's regrettable from a cost perspective we feel this has to go ahead.”

A public inquiry is planned for next month to discuss the �150m proposal which is due to begin in 2010.

The alternative proposals for the A11 Fiveways to Thetford improvement are likely to be discussed at next month's public inquiry into the scheme, and in the meantime people have until November 3 to lodge their comments.

A Highways Agency spokesperson said: “At the public inquiry, which is set to begin on 24 November, the independent Inspector will consider all objections, representations and supportive comments about the scheme, as well as objectors' alternative proposals.

“Should the Inspector's recommendation include any of, or part of, the alternative proposals then further supplementary draft orders would have to be prepared and published for comment and/or objections.”

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 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 a report will be submitted to the secretary of state who will make a decision on the future of the scheme

t t The inquiry will begin at 10am on November 24 at Elveden Village Hall It is not known how long it will last.

t t Comments on the alternative plans should be sent to Phil Cheesmur, project manager, Woodlands, Manton Lane, Bedford, MK41 7LW, or email, quoting reference HA 65/13/25.