June 18 2013 Latest news:
By Dan Grimmer
Saturday, September 1, 2012
A public inquiry into a junction change on the A47 near Norwich, which would pave the way for the northern bypass, has been postponed.
Norfolk County Council wants to create the Postwick Hub – a new interchange which will serve the proposed Broadland Gate business park – and the scheme has already secured planning permission.
The new road scheme will see the closure of slip roads leading on and off the A47 onto Yarmouth Road, but the scheme is also the potential starting off point for the proposed £141.5m Northern Distributor Road (NDR).
A public inquiry was due to be held on September 25, but the Highways Agency yesterday announced it was suspending that inquiry.
The agency said that it had decided to postpone the inquiry because a revised traffic assessment on the impact of the changes had yet to be finalised.
Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for planning and transportation, said: “This is an extremely complex junction and it is crucial the proposals are subjected to the most detailed examination and modelling.
“It is therefore important for everyone involved to have sufficient time to examine all information when published and that that information is as robust as possible.
“Although any delay is unfortunate, postponing the inquiry is the right thing to do.”
But Denise Carlo, spokeswoman for the Norfolk and Norwich Transport Action Group, which is against the NDR and the Postwick Hub, said the postponement was embarrassing for the county council.
She said: “The decision to postpone shows that the agency and Norfolk County Council have no confidence in the county’s traffic data and rather than risk losing, they have decided to pull the rug on the inquiry for the time being.
“This is a big embarrassment for Norfolk County Council which has been exerting pressure on the Highways Agency to push ahead with Postwick Hub.”
The Highways Agency said a new date for the inquiry would be set “in due course”.