Ministers have allocated £26.2m of major road network (MRN) cash towards the planned A140 Long Stratton Bypass.
The Department for Transport has approved Norfolk County Council’s outline business case and the council will now submit a full business case.
The scheme will see a new 2.5-mile single carriageway road built to the east of Long Stratton (pictured), designed to significantly ease congestion through the town, while providing better accessibility to the town centre for cyclists and pedestrians.
The proposed road will provide a new junction at Church Lane to the north, extending from this junction on the east side of Long Stratton in a southerly direction and re-joining the existing A140 just south of Oakside farm.
The full cost of the bypass is currently £37.4m, with the council securing the additional £9.2m, primarily sourced from local developer contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy.
Roads minister Baroness Vere said: ‘This new scheme will provide a huge boost to Long Stratton and Norfolk by ensuring faster, smoother journeys, cutting congestion and noise pollution, and allowing the construction of 1,800 new homes in the area.’
The scheme is one of 10 MRN schemes for which sub-national transport body Transport East submitted funding bids in summer 2019.
Martin Wilby, the council's cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport and member of Transport East, said: ‘This is fantastic news and a most timely announcement from government, particularly in view of the COVID-19 recovery. The A140 through Long Stratton is a real pinch point that affects thousands of road users and the people who live and work in Long Stratton, on a daily basis.
‘We want to deliver this vital scheme as soon as possible to cut congestion, help the local economy and vastly improve this major regionally important route linking Norwich and Ipswich. The bypass is set to create hundreds of new jobs and homes, open up improvements for cycling and walking, and solve traffic and transport issues local people have been facing for more than a generation.’
The council said it is working with developer Norfolk Homes Ltd/Norfolk Land Ltd to bring forward the proposals for the bypass, which will feed into a revised planning application expected to shortly be submitted to South Norfolk Council by the developer.
It said that subject to receiving all of the necessary statutory approvals, the target date for work to start on construction is mid-2023, with the road open to traffic before the end of 2024.