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Campaigners criticise claims on £148m Norwich Northern Distributor Road

PUBLISHED: 08:39 14 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:24 14 July 2014

Norwich Northern Distributor Road protesters before the preliminary meeting over the planning inquiry.  Photo by Simon Finlay.

Norwich Northern Distributor Road protesters before the preliminary meeting over the planning inquiry. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Campaigners against the £148.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road intend to show a panel of planning inspectors that the route will make congestion around the city worse.

Norfolk County Council wants to build the 19.5km road from the A47 at Postwick in the east of the city to the A1067 Fakenham Road to the northwest.

They say it will improve journey times, stop rat-running and congestion and bring an economic boost.

The government has agreed to contribute £86.5m and fast-tracked it through the planning system.

A panel of planning inspectors will start an examination into the road next week and will then recommend to the secretary of state whether the road should get consent.

As part of those hearings, the Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group intends to present evidence that the road will make traffic conditions worse.

The group has commissioned Professor Phil Goodwin, who holds honorary professorships at Oxford University, University College London and the University of the West of England to act as expert witness at the examination.

In his report, based on the council’s own traffic modelling, he says that, by 2032, with the road in place: “Congestion will be worse than it is now, journey times longer, more people will live close to excessive traffic and public transport to the city centre will be slower.”

A county council spokesman said: “Prof Goodwin’s assessment is one of 113 written representations to the examining authority that is considering the NDR proposals in detail.

“Norfolk County Council is in the process of reviewing these representations, and comments upon Prof Goodwin’s assessment will be submitted to the Examining Authority on July 21.”

What’s your view? Write to the Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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