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Costessey anger at traffic plan delays

PUBLISHED: 11:21 06 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:14 02 July 2010

People in Costessey were hoping the NDR would ease traffic through their streets

People in Costessey were hoping the NDR would ease traffic through their streets

Sarah Hall

Families who say the proposed Northern Distributor Road will do nothing to prevent rat running in their neighbourhood have been dealt a fresh blow after promised work on traffic calming was hit by budget cuts.

Families who say the proposed Northern Distributor Road will do nothing to prevent rat running in their neighbourhood have been dealt a fresh blow after promised work on traffic calming was hit by budget cuts.

People in Costessey who were hoping the NDR would ease traffic through their streets were left disappointed when Norfolk County Council's plans for the road stopped at Taverham because planners said it could not cut through the Wensum Valley.

Further disappointment followed when the Government pledged up to £67.5m of funding for only half the road, between the A140 at Norwich International airport and the A47 at Postwick, while Costessey has now been told traffic calming measures will take longer than planned to come to fruition.

But council bosses said they were committed to improving traffic calming in Costessey and said the £260,000 scheme was a high priority.

The scheme for Costessey would see a crossing table built in Longwater Lane to make it safer for youngsters to get to the primary school along with a new section of footway between The White Hart and The Bush pubs.

In addition, a new footway would be built between The Bush pub and Folgate Lane, round top humps created between the pinch points on The Street and the existing cushions through West End replaced with full width humps.

The plan was to build the scheme continuously within two years, but council officers have said they cannot afford to do that, given “budget limitations”.

Instead the scheme will be programmed over four years, with priority given to improving the pedestrian footway near the primary school.

Tim East, who represents Costessey at county, district and parish level, said: “Costessey always seems to be the poor relation when goodies are promised, but invariably they are never handed out to us for a multitude of reasons. This latest excuse is apparently on the grounds of financial restraint and budget limitations.”

But Adrian Gunson, cabinet member for planning and transportation on Norfolk County Council, said the work would take four years instead of two because the measures were more comprehensive than initially planned, so the cost had increased from £75,000 to £260,000.

He said: “I realise there will be some disappointment among people in Costessey that these measures cannot be completed earlier, but the work required and increased cost make it impossible.

“To put this in context, our budget for installing traffic calming measures annually is £300,000 for the whole county. Costessey is therefore seen as a high priority, particularly so when considering the reductions in purchasing power of Government funding through the Local Transport Plan settlement.”

What's your view on the NDR? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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