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9 November 2018, 15:59
Councillors on Norfolk County Council's Environment, Development and Transport Committee have today approved four potential route options for a Norwich Western Link to put out to public consultation.
In 2016 the County Council made providing a Norwich Western Link, to connect the A47 and the western end of Broadland Northway (formerly Northern Distributor Road), one of its three infrastructure priorities. This was in response to long-standing concerns about traffic congestion on roads and in communities to the west of Norwich and calls from many people to fill in what they saw as the 'missing link' between the A47 and Broadland Northway.
Last week officers at the council published four possible options for a Norwich Western Link and asked councillors to consider and approve them ahead of a consultation which is due to launch later this month. The shortlist comprised three new dual carriageway roads and a single carriageway upgrade to the B1535.
The council received feedback from local parish councillors on the Norwich Western Link Liaison Group and the following minor amendments to the proposed routes were agreed at today's Environment, Development and Transport Committee meeting at County Hall:
- The northern ends of options C and D and the southern ends of options B and C, which previously followed similar but not identical lines, now have the same alignment.
- An alternative to how option D joins the A47 has been added. This is due to Highways England's plans to dual the section of the A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton. There is currently limited detail available on the new junction location near Easton and, until more detail is known, the council has accounted for the possibility of the junction being located near Blind Lane and Taverham Road or closer to the current Easton roundabout junction.
The County Council will now proceed with a public consultation on the options between 26 November 2018 and 18 January 2019. More detail on the routes will be published to coincide with the consultation's launch and information on consultation events, where people will be able to talk to staff involved in the project and respond in person, will be made available shortly.
The shortlist is the culmination of months of work to identify which options would be most effective as a Norwich Western Link. This work followed Department for Transport assessment guidelines and included traffic surveys and modelling, gathering information on environmental and ecological factors in the area and developing a longlist of road and non-road options.
While road options were found to be the most effective in isolation, the County Council will consider complementing these options with other transport measures such as walking and cycling routes and traffic management measures on other roads.
The shortlisted options were also informed by the results of an initial Norwich Western Link consultation which was held earlier this year.
The consultation had more than 1,700 responses and showed that there was very strong support for creating a new link between the A47 and Broadland Northway, with the majority of those responding suggesting a new road as their preferred solution. Key transport issues identified by people through the consultation included slow journey times, rat running and roads not being suitable for the volume and type of traffic such as HGVs.