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Options for ‘missing link’ to connect NDR to A47 to be revealed

PUBLISHED: 11:04 15 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:17 15 September 2018

Options for a Western Link, to connect the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 to the west of the city are due to be revealed in November. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Options for a Western Link, to connect the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 to the west of the city are due to be revealed in November. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Norfolk County Council

Options for the ‘missing link’ which would connect the Norwich Northern Distributor Road to the A47 to the west of Norwich are due to be presented to the public within two months.

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

A long-standing criticism of the £205m road, now known as the Broadland Northway, is that it does not join the A47 to the west.

Such a link was previously ruled out because of the cost of crossing the Wensum Valley, a site of special scientific interest, so the road currently ends at the A1067.

But Norfolk County Council has made the creation of the Western Link one of its priorities and has already spent £1m to come up with a business case and preferred route.

Consultants had mooted the possibility of a £160m viaduct over the valley or a tunnel, among other options. The council asked people for their opinions on what should happen during an eight week consultation over the summer.

In that consultation, 1,262 people said they wanted a new road linking the NDR to the A47.

Next month, members of the council’s environment, development and transport committee will be asked to give the go-ahead to another round of public consultation - which will ask for the public’s view on a string of options.

Those options would be revealed in November which is when the consultation would start. It would continue through to January next year.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “Since the Norwich Western Link consultation closed in July, a lot of work has been going on.

“That work was to go through the responses, examine other data and evidence and get us to a point where we have a small number of options that we believe would be most effective at achieving our goals and solving the transport problems to the west of Norwich.

“We’re on schedule to have these options ready by November and I’m looking forward to getting people’s opinions on them.”

Critics of a new link, including the Wensum Valley Alliance and the Campaign To Protect Rural England, have said they would rather see the B1535, which connects Fakenham Road to the A47 via Weston Longville, improved.

County Hall still needs to secure funding for any scheme.

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