Two weeks left to respond to Norwich Western Link options consultation
03 January 2019
There are just two weeks remaining for people to tell Norfolk County Council what they think of four potential options for a Norwich Western Link, to connect two major roads to the west of the city.
The County Council is proposing to create a Norwich Western Link to improve travel between the A47 and Broadland Northway (formerly the Northern Distributor Road) and tackle transport problems in the area.
A public consultation on four shortlisted route options – three new dual carriageway roads and a single carriageway upgrade to the B1535 – began on Monday, 26 November last year. Since then, around 600 people have given the council their views on the options.
The consultation is due to close at midnight on Friday 18 January and, with this deadline now looming, the council is hoping to get many more responses through in these final two weeks.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said: “We know following our consultation last year that creating a Norwich Western Link matters to lots of people in Norfolk.
“It matters particularly to people living in the area, where local roads and communities are being choked by traffic congestion. It matters also to people who travel through the area, whose journeys are being held up by queues at junctions and the sheer volume of vehicles using small rural roads. And it matters to the county’s businesses, who need excellent transport links to be competitive, increase profits, and to grow and create more jobs.
“Given how important this link road is, we hope many more people will take the time to look through the information we’ve made available about our options and tell us what they think before the consultation closes. All the responses will be carefully considered and will help us to identify a preferred route for the Norwich Western Link as soon as we can.”
Norfolk County Council has made lots of information available on the options to ensure people can make an informed response to the consultation. This includes environmental considerations the council will need to take into account and traffic modelling information – how each of the routes is likely to affect levels of traffic on other roads.
The majority of the new or improved roads would be built at or near ground level and also include improvements to the A1067 Fakenham Road. However, viaduct-style bridges over river flood plains are included in some of the options and an artist’s impression to give people an indication of how a viaduct over the River Wensum could look has also been made available.
More than 800 people have so far visited a series of staffed consultation events held by the County Council, held to give people an opportunity to view details on the options, ask any questions they have and respond to the consultation in person. There are six consultation events still to take place over the next two weeks, all of which will run between 2 and 8pm:
- Aylsham Town Hall - Tuesday 8 January
- Diamond Jubilee Lodge, Hellesdon - Thursday 10 January
- Great Witchingham Village Hall - Friday 11 January
- The Costessey Centre - Monday 14 January
- Dereham Memorial Hall - Tuesday 15 January
- Honingham Village Hall - Wednesday 16 January
Most people who have responded to the consultation so far have done so by filling in an online survey via www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl. The questionnaire asks people how effective they think each of the options would be as a Norwich Western Link. Once they have considered all the options individually, people are asked to select any of the options they would support as a link road between the A47 and Broadland Northway, or to select if they think none of the options are suitable.
There is also a question about other transport improvements the County Council could make to complement the options, including improving walking and cycling routes and bringing in traffic management measures on existing roads.
The shortlist that people are being consulted on 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.
The shortlisted options have also been 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 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.
Responses to the consultation will help the council identify a preferred route for the Norwich Western Link later this year. Subject to all the necessary statutory processes being completed, the council is aiming to start construction on the Norwich Western Link in late 2022.
For more information about the project and to respond to the consultation, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl.
The shortlisted options for a Norwich Western Link were agreed by members of the council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee in November 2018.
- View the report considered by councillors, including information on the longlist of options.