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About the Norwich Western Link

At a glance

The Norwich Western Link is a proposed new section of dual carriageway to connect the Broadland Northway (formerly known as the Northern Distributor Road) between the A1067 and the A47 in the west of Norwich. Since construction began on the Broadland Northway, there have been sustained calls to fill in the 'missing link' and significantly improve travel between these two major roads.

Why we're doing it

We're responding to the problems raised by communities to the west of Norwich, who suffer from significant rat-running and congestion. We are also making sure we have the infrastructure needed to support future growth in housing and employment, which is vital to support the local economy in Norwich and Norfolk.

Making our case

We are gathering the evidence needed to support the detailed planning application necessary for projects of this scale. This evidence, alongside the project proposals, will aim to address the issues being raised by those who oppose the project and will include our commitment to deliver a range of significant environmental mitigation measures.

What happens next

The planning application was submitted to the planning authority in April 2024.  

In this instance the planning authority is Norfolk County Council, but this is an entirely separate part of the authority to the project team. After a validation period, the planning authority will publish the planning application documents and then run their own statutory public consultation on the planning application, so everyone will have the opportunity to view and comment on the proposals at that stage. 

Protecting the environment

We're committed to creating this road in an environmentally responsible way. We are aiming to achieve 'biodiversity net gain' for all applicable habitats, as set out by Defra, which will see new areas of habitat created, including woodland and wetland, as well as improvements to existing ones.

We will ensure the project has no adverse impacts on the integrity of the River Wensum Special Area of Conservation, which can be achieved through, for example, the design of the viaduct and
construction methods.

We've also established an Ecology Liaison Group, involving representatives from local nature conservation groups with the purpose of sharing information and ideas and providing in-depth local insight on ecological matters.

Complementary transport measures

One of the Norwich Western Link's project objectives is to encourage and support people to walk, cycle and use public transport. Taking traffic off the existing road network will help with this, but we're also working to develop complementary transport measures that will support this ambition. Between July and September 2020 we carried out a public consultation which asked for people's views on proposals to support walking, cycling and public transport use. You can read more about the outcome of this consultation on the Have Your Say page.

Taking account of the consultation responses, we are now developing proposals to improve Public Rights of Way in the vicinity of the Norwich Western Link route as well as measures to make walking and cycling more attractive across a wider area.

We are also proposing to put in traffic mitigation measures on the existing road network in some locations as part of the project, to encourage traffic to keep to major routes where appropriate.

Project objectives

The project objectives set out what the Norwich Western Link project should provide and enable. The objectives are in two tiers - high-level objectives and specific objectives.

High-level objectives

  • Support sustainable economic growth 
  • Improve the quality of life for local communities 
  • Promote an improved environment 
  • Improve strategic connectivity with the national road network

Specific objectives

  • Improve connectivity and journey times on key routes in Greater Norwich
  • Reduce the impacts of traffic on people and places within the western area of Greater Norwich
  • Encourage and support walking, cycling and public transport use
  • Improve safety on and near the road network, especially for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Protect the natural and built environment, including the integrity of the River Wensum Special Area of Conservation
  • Improve accessibility to key sites in Greater Norwich