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A46 Newark Bypass work could be brought forward, says Robert Jenrick, Communities Secretary

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There may be a case for bringing forward the dualling of the A46 Newark Bypass to help get the UK moving again, according to the town’s MP, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.

He made the claim as part of an exclusive interview with the Advertiser on the fight against coronavirus, in which he explained the way forward, the controversies he has faced, and expressed sympathies with those who have lost loved ones.

Robert Jenrick.
Robert Jenrick.

After years of campaigning, £450m for the dualling of the A46 from Farndon to Winthorpe ­— to help alleviate traffic gridlock in Newark ­— was announced by the government in autumn last year.

The planning process was due to start this year, but the government is now having to spend billions of pounds supporting individuals and businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the impending debt, ministers have offered assurances about large construction projects nationally that have already been budgeted for.

Mr Jenrick said: “The A46 was allocated in the budget and work will continue on that, we are at an early stage but I don’t anticipate there will be a delay.

“In fact, it may be brought forward.”

Robert Jenrick. Credit: Number 10. (34644383)
Robert Jenrick. Credit: Number 10. (34644383)

It is a similar story for the Town Deals initiative announced by Mr Jenrick’s department last year in which Newark was among 100 towns selected to receive up to £25m of government money for initiatives to support economic growth. Newark was also selected for a government heritage investment.

“Both of those two investments are still entirely there. I will be lobbying as hard as I can to ensure those go ahead,” said Mr Jenrick.

“The towns fund continues. The planning stage has been delayed somewhat because of covid-19 but I have been receiving emails from people behind Newark’s bid and I’m confident a strong bid will be put forward.

“The proposals I have seen are very strong, focusing on heritage and tourism.”

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