Crash at Guyhirn prompts renewed political pleas for dualling of the A47

PUBLISHED: 14:10 27 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:10 27 June 2018

Two men travelling in a double-decker bus have died after it collided with a lorry on the A47 at Thorney Toll near Wisbech in Cambridgeshire. Picture(s): Chris Radburn / PA Wire / PA Images

Two men travelling in a double-decker bus have died after it collided with a lorry on the A47 at Thorney Toll near Wisbech in Cambridgeshire. Picture(s): Chris Radburn / PA Wire / PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

After an “horrific” crash claimed the lives of two people on the A47, moves are afoot to dual the “vital” route amid admissions improvements are long overdue.

Yesterday (June 26), two people were killed when a bus collided with an HGV on the A47 near Guyhirn. Today (June 27), the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority board heard a “really strong” case for making the road a dual carriageway.

The board heard there were strong economic reasons for improving the “vital” route, which could help alleviate deprivation in parts of the county.

James Palmer, Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, also noted the potential improvements the upgrade would have for safety of those travelling on the road. He paid tributes to those who had died, and acknowledged that improvements to the road were long overdue.

Mayor Palmer said: “It would be remiss of me not to mention the accident yesterday.

“Yesterday was shocking. All of our thoughts are with those who died in the accident. It goes to prove what a busy road it is and how far behind the curve we are in addressing problems on that road.”

Martin Whiteley, chief executive of the combined authority, said there was a “really strong” economic case for improving the road.

“This report makes a really strong case for the dualling of the A47,” said Mr Whiteley. “It would naturally improve journey times along that route, and will improve the quality of the transit and freight route. It would not only do that, it would support economic growth in the area.”

Cllr Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, paid tribute to those who died, calling the accident “absolutely tragic”. He said he welcomed the idea of improving the road, which he said had been a major issue since “long before” he had taken up a post on the council.

“I welcome this,” said Cllr Count. “I am glad to see it is making some traction and making some progress. It is vital for Fenland and Peterborough and Norfolk. It is a route that will make a huge difference.”

Mr Palmer agreed, saying it was “imperative” that the route was improved, not only for safety, but to help alleviate the economic “deprivation” in parts of the county.

“The deprivation in places like Wisbech will not be addressed unless we address the transport issue in Fenland,” said Mr Palmer.

The board approved getting consultancy support for the planned public consultation and development of an outline business case

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