Consultation starts over Norwich Western Link - which would connect Broadland Northway to the A47
PUBLISHED: 06:30 08 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:07 08 May 2018
Consultation will start today over whether people want to see the Norwich Northern Distributor Road joined to the A47 to the west of the city.
Now that the £205m road, now named Broadland Northway, is open to traffic, transport bosses have switched attention to the so-called ‘missing link’.
A long-standing criticism of the road, which will stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road, is that it does not join the A47 to the west of the city.
Such a link was previously ruled out because of the cost of crossing the Wensum Valley, but Norfolk County Council has made the Western Link one of its priorities.
Last year, they agreed to spend £1m to come up with a business case and preferred route, with consultants mooting the possibility of a £160m viaduct over the valley or a tunnel, among other options.
And today, public consultation will start to ask people to identify any options they believe could tackle transport issues, including a link to the A47.
Council bosses stress, at this stage, they are not asking about specific route options.
Martin Wilby, chairman of the council’s environment, development and transport committee, said the Broadland Northway was “fantastic”,
but that people in communities to the west of Norwich had concerns about rat-running, congestion and other problems.
“This combined with some major changes planned in the area, including dualling of a nearby stretch of the A47 and the food hub at Easton, is why the council has made delivering a Norwich Western Link between the Fakenham Road and the A47 one of its infrastructure priorities.
“While we have lots of informal feedback, this is the first time we have carried out a public consultation about transport issues in this area and what, if anything, people think we should do about them.
“It’s absolutely vital people take this opportunity to tell us about their experiences and opinions on transport to the west of Norwich so we can use this to help us come up with the best possible solution.”
The Wensum Valley Alliance and the Norfolk branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England have both criticised the potential Western Link, because of its impact on the environment and countryside.
The consultation starts next Tuesday and will run for eight weeks.
People will be able to take part at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl and can also have their say at the following nine staffed consultation events, which run from 10.30am until 8pm (apart from Taverham, which ends at 7pm):
Ringland Village Hall: Thursday, May 10
Hockering Village Hall: Thursday, May 17
Hall for All, Weston Longville: Tuesday, May 22
Easton Village: Thursday, May 31
Taverham Village Hall: Tuesday, June 5
The Forum, Norwich: Wednesday, June 13 and Thursday, June 14
Costessey Community Centre: Monday, June 18
Hellesdon Parish Office: Tuesday, June 26
The consultation closes at midnight on Tuesday, July 3. The council says it will analyse the responses over the summer and then let people know the results - and what it proposes to do next.