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£161m dual carriageway across Wensum Valley is public's 'most popular' choice for NDR missing link

PUBLISHED: 18:17 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 18:17 05 March 2019

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Splash the cash on the western link - this is the main message from a consultation into joining the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 west of Norwich.

The options for the Western Link. Pic: Norfolk County Council.The options for the Western Link. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

More than 1,900 people made their views known on the so-called western link over the winter period, as Norfolk County Council continued to explore whether to build it.

Four potential routes were suggested for the project, ranging in estimated costs from £60m to £161m, all of which would link the £205m road to the A47.

Now, in a report to the environment, development and transport committee, it has been revealed that the £161m option D proved the most favourable with participants.

This option would see a new dual carriageway build across the Wensum Valley, passing close to Ringland before joining the A47 at Easton and is the dearest of the four routes.

While council officers are still collating the full results of the consultation, it has also been said that the overall consensus towards a link road has been supportive.

The report reads: “Initial analysis of the responses to the consultation survey suggests there is strong agreement among respondents that there is a need for a Norwich western link road, with option D ranking as the most popular.”

The report also stated that the cheapest option, a £60m single carriageway upgrade to the A1067 to Lenwade and B1535 to the A47 at Honingham, had proved least favoured.

Meanwhile the report also reveals that 1,825 responses were received through the consultation’s online survey, while an additional 104 were sent via letter or email. A tour of 17 events showcasing the options were attended by 1,245 people.

However, while the findings show the favoured option of consultation participants, the council itself is yet to make a final decision over its stance.

Martin Wilby, chairman of the environment, development and transport committee, said: “I’m pleased more than 1,900 people responded, which shows there’s a lot of interest in the scheme.

“We are still evaluating the responses but I am please to see the continued support for it.”

While the report argues the response was largely one favouring a western link, the prospect has already been subject of a number of protests from environmental activists.

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