A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement
Part of our programme of improvements (value >10m)
Update March 2013
Over the coming weeks, traffic management will be located along the A11 at various points.
Traffic management, which includes road signs and traffic signals, will be used to protect the safety of road workers and the travelling public. Traffic management will be used to control the speed of passing vehicles and clearly separate motorists from construction activity.
Please see the journey impact page for more information about planned closures and diversions.
Download a plan of the scheme in PDF format which shows the preferred route and associated improvements.
Progress to date
Work undertaken so far has included:
Post and wire fencing has been installed to mark the project boundary, intended to protect the safety of passing pedestrians, horse-riders, cyclists and larger animals by preventing them from inadvertently entering the construction works area.
Significant ecological investigation and protection activities are continuing. Some of these works can be seen from road, while others are taking place along the route of the new bypass and along side roads. Newt fencing will remain in place allowing captured newts and other smaller reptiles to be relocated to an area of safety, away from future construction activities. In addition to the installation of temporary badger fencing, permanent badger tunnels will be constructed under the route of the new road to minimise disruption to their migratory routes.
Archaeological surveys began in August 2012 and are now complete. Evidence of settlements dating back from 50 BC to AD 400 were found; in addition, flint workings from primitive tools have been found dating back to 4,000 BC. Items from early settlements have included evidence of timber dwellings, animal bones and pottery from France and the Nene Valley, Peterborough.
Towards the end of 2012 ground investigation and testing work was undertaken where the A11 passes over the River Lark near Fiveways Roundabout.
We continue to focus on diverting the existing overhead electric cables along the A11 and those existing services along the B1106 so that they do not affect the main construction works.
Site clearance commenced in October 2012 along the route of the current A11 to prepare for the construction of the new carriageway. The majority of the site has been cleared.
What is happening?
The A11 will become a dual carriageway between Fiveways and Thetford. The improvement primarily follows the line of the existing road, except for at the Elveden bypass. View a plan of the scheme (45KB PDF).
When and where is this happening?
Advanced works began in June 2012 to prepare the site and full construction commenced on the 24 January 2013; we are planning to open the scheme to traffic in the third quarter of financial year 2014/15.
Work is taking place between the Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills, Suffolk and the roundabout at the southern end of the Thetford Bypass, Norfolk, a distance of 9.1 miles (14.8km). The A11 is of dual carriagway standard from the M11 to Norwich, except the section between Barton Mills and Thetford. It provides an important link between Norfolk and the rest of the East of England.
Why is this happening and what will it cost?
This is the last remaining single carriageway section on the strategic M11/A11 route to Norwich, and causes:
- Congestion problems particularly during holiday periods
- Conflict between fast moving trunk road traffic and slow moving agricultural traffic
- Overtaking difficulties
- Difficulties joining the trunk road from side roads
- Adverse environmental effects through Elveden
The estimated outturn cost of this scheme is £105m.
How will the scheme be carried out?
Key features of the new road include:
- Improvement to Fiveways roundabout
- Improved visibility on the approach to Fiveways roundabout
- An underpass to take the B1112 beneath the new road
- The B1106 would pass over the new Elveden Bypass at a two-level junction east of Center Parcs
- Access bridges to assist farming operations at Canada Drive and Chalk Hall Farm
- A Non - Motorised User (NMU) underpass for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders, adjacent to the War memorial
Details of how these works will be undertaken will be updated here once we have more information.
What are the benefits?
The main objectives of the scheme are to:
- Complete the dualling of the A11 between the M11 and Norwich.
- Reduce congestion and provide additional capacity
- Restrict access onto the trunk road
- Improve road safety
- Provide a bypass for the village of Elveden
- Improve journey time reliability
- Minimise the impact of the improved road on the surrounding Breckland, a designated area of important landscape quality and a special landscape area.
- Develop a scheme that is well engineered and economically viable.
How do I find out more information ?
More information will be posted on this project page as it becomes available. You can subscribe to be alerted when updates are made.
If you have any queries about this project you should contact the Highways Agency Information Line by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0300 123 5000.
Will there be roadworks?
Roadworks will be in place for the duration of the works. There will be ongoing speed restriction of 40 mph 24hrs per day, between Fiveways roundabout (Barton Mills) and Thetford roundabout.
|Date||Duration||Details||Allow an Extra|
|Mon 21 January 2013 for 12 - 18 months||Complete closure for a duration of approx 12 - 18 months beginning at 19:00||A11 to B1112||5 to 10 mins|
|Tuesday 26th February 2013||Permanent Closure of C616||C616 Junction to A11|
How will you manage traffic?
Until further notice, there will be plant crossing haul routes in operation controlled by part time traffic signals daytime from 7am until 7pm. They will be manually operated to allow items of heavy plant to cross the A11 and will temporarily stop the traffic in both directions. These will be intermittent as required, and located between Fiveways roundabout and Thetford rondabout.
Two way traffic signal will also be in operation at various locations along the A11 between Fiveways roundabout (Barton Mills) and London Road (Thetford) roundabout overnight, from 8pm to 6am. The maximum length per signal will be 500 metres and minimum spacing between sets will be 2.5 km.
Week Commencing 20 May
The C616 junction with the A11 was closed on Tuesday 26 February 2013. There is no through access. Access to the Household Waste Recycling Centre, Anglian Water facility and the private farm is still possible from the A1065 only.
A 500m length of the B1112 either side of the A11 junction is now fully closed for a period of 12 to 18 months to allow construction of a new underpass to carry the B1112 underneath the A11. The A11 will remain fully open during these works however the current junction will be closed with no access available between the B1112 and the A11. The remainder of the B1112 from Eriswell to Icklingham will remain open for local access from the A1065 at Eriswell and the A1101 at Icklingham and a temporary 40mph speed restriction will be in place along the B1112 for safety reasons.
Will there be diversions?
Diversion for A11/B1112 junction closure
Traffic wishing to access the A1101 or the A1065 from the A11 will be diverted via Fiveways roundabout. The B1112 will remain open for local access at the A165 near Eriswell and the A1101 near Icklingham and a temporary 40mph speed restriction will be in place along the B1112 for safety reasons.
This section of the A11 lies within an area known as "The Brecks" or "Breckland", which is an area of considerable ecological, archaeological and landscape value. It contains a number of sites of European and National conservation value.
These sites include the Rex Graham Reserve, Weather Heath and Horn Heath which are Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Special Areas of Conservation; Mildenhall Woods County Wildlife Site and the Elveden Village Conservation Area.
Most of the route is a potential Special Protection Area, a European designation relating to the protection of three bird species; stone curlew, nightjar and woodlark.
We will use best practice to safeguard the local environment. We have surveyed the local surroundings and used the results to find ways of reducing any negative effects and also contribute towards improving the local environment. We will plan the construction works to minimise the effects on the environment.
- To reduce the visual impact of the scheme, areas of trees, shrubs, and grassland would be planted. Native species that are local to the area would be used where possible.
- The planting design will be in character with the Breckland landscape and include pine shelterbelts, known as 'deal rows'.
- A wider central reserve would be provided at the eastern end of the scheme to retain an area of deciduous trees.
- The scheme through Weather and Horn Heaths would remain within the existing highway boundary to minimise the impact on the heathland.
Wildlife and Nature Conservation
- We have carried out ecological surveys in the area to identify any evidence of a number of protected species, including the Breckland mugwort and other plants, reptiles, bats, badgers, great crested newts and birds.
- Where we have found evidence of protected species, methods have been included in the Scheme design to reduce impacts and in some cases improve the environment for those species.
- Elveden Village would benefit from the bypass, as it would reduce traffic flows through the centre of the village, thus improving road safety and village amenity.
- The Public Rights of Way network would be kept or alternatives provided.
- We will provide appropriate drainage to deal with the surface water from the road.
- These measures ensure road runoff is treated for pollutants, before filtering into the ground or draining into the cut off channel.
- The area contains features of Cultural heritage importance, including archaeological sites and Listed Buildings such as Barton Hall and the prominent 1920's War Memorial.
- Various methods have been included in the Scheme design to reduce the impacts to historic features.
- Additional survey work prior to construction would enable any potentially undiscovered archaeology to be identified.
- Our assessments show that the majority of residential properties would experience improved local air quality as a result of the scheme, due to enhanced traffic flows.
- We would monitor the effects on air quality in the area with the aim of meeting national air quality objectives.
- Our noise assessment shows that the majority of residential properties would experience reduced traffic noise levels as a result of the scheme.
- Construction noise and vibration levels would be kept within acceptable limits.
Four species of Deer are found along the length of the A11 between Barton Mills and Thetford: Red, Roe, Fallow and Muntjac.
Various options for Deer Management have been researched including bridges, underpasses, and extensive fencing and a combination of these. The most effective option was considered to be the adoption of wide verges and incorporation of any new technology found to be effective
Wide verges of up to 10 metres have been incorporated in the design as a buffer zone that will allow drivers an opportunity to see and react to the deer before they stray onto the carriageways.
|Public Consultation||February 2001|
|Preferred Route Announcement||November 2001|
|Draft Order Publication||November 2008|
|Environmental Statement published||November 2008|
|Pre-Inquiry Meeting||Tuesday 29th September 2009|
|Public Inquiry||November 2009|
|Public Inquiry concluded||January 2010|
|Start of works||24 January 2013|
|Completion of works||December 2014|
Business Case for the A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement - Information correct as at December 2010
Pre Orders Exhibition Leaflet - July 2008 for the A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement scheme
Preferred Route Announcement leaflet - November 2001 - for the A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement
This document is available from the National Archive website, to access this please follow the link below:
A11 Public Notice for Made CPO - 2011 for the A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement
A11 Public Notice for Made SRO, Supp SRO, Line and Detrunking - 2011
A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement Objector's Alternative Proposals
Final notice of Public Inquiry - October 2009 for the A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement
Notice of Intention Public Inquiry and Pre Inquiry Meeting
Draft Orders Public Notice
Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) Public Notice
Extension of Objection Period - public notice
Notice of Pre Inquiry Meeting - September 2009
Supplementary Compulsory Purchase Order Public Notice
Supplementary Side Roads Order Public Notice
A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement - Newsletter 3 - February 2013
Newsletter 2 - A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement
Newsletter 1 - A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement
The Non-Technical Summary and the Revised Non Technical Summary for the A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement
Appraisal Summary Table (AST) for the A11 Fiveways to Thetford Improvement