Norwich Western Link consultation to launch later this month
08 July 2020
Norfolk County Council is planning to launch a public consultation later this month as part of its project to create the Norwich Western Link, a new 3.8 mile dual carriageway road between Broadland Northway and the A47.
The Local Access Consultation will focus on how the council can best support people to walk, cycle and use public transport in the area to the west of Norwich, and for opinions on proposals for existing local roads that cross the planned Norwich Western Link. Information gathered from this consultation will help inform design decisions and proposals for the project.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure at Norfolk County Council, said: “One of our aims in creating the Norwich Western Link is to make it easier and more appealing for people to walk, cycle and use public transport in the local area, particularly over shorter distances. There’s obviously been a real upswing in interest in getting out in your local community for some exercise and fresh air in the last few months, and we’re really keen to support this and ensure people have a range of travel choices open to them.
“The creation of the new road itself will help make walking, cycling and getting on a bus more appealing as it will take traffic off existing congested roads and out of communities in the area to the west of Norwich. We want to add to these benefits by bringing in complementary measures that will link local residents to places they want to get to, whether for leisure, education or work. We’ve talked to local parish councils and other groups to come up with some ideas on how we can do this most effectively and these will be presented in the consultation so we can get wider feedback.”
The consultation will also ask for people’s views on the council’s proposals for the local roads that cross the planned route of the new road. The Norwich Western Link has been designed to have no junctions between the A1067 Fakenham Road and the A47 so that it will be effective at preventing rat-running, reducing journey times and improving journey reliability in this area.
The council still needs to decide what to do with these local roads in light of the new link road and how this will change journeys, and people will be asked for their views on this in the consultation. Proposals for Public Rights of Way close to the Norwich Western Link will also be included in the consultation.
The consultation is due to run from Monday 27 July to Sunday 20 September 2020 and, once it has launched, people will able to view information on the proposals and respond to the consultation via the Norfolk County Council website at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl. People who can’t access the internet will be able to respond to the consultation by post, with consultation brochures and questionnaires being delivered to properties in relatively close proximity to the Norwich Western Link and copies being made available to others upon request.
In accordance with current COVID-19 guidance, no local consultation events will be held, however people will still be able to discuss the consultation proposals with staff involved in the project via phone or internet calls during the consultation period. Details on how to book an appointment to speak with members of the project team will be made available once the consultation launches.
Significant progress has been made on the project in recent months. In May, the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed that the Norwich Western Link had been given conditional entry into its Large Local Majors funding programme and awarded Norfolk County Council more than £1 million of development funding for the project in the 2020/21 financial year. As a result, the next step will see the council submit a business case to DfT for consideration which, if approved, would unlock up to 85% of the total estimated £153 million cost of the project.
A further public consultation on other elements of the project is due to be held next year ahead of the planning application being submitted. Subject to securing funding and completing necessary statutory processes, the Norwich Western Link is scheduled to start construction in 2023 and be open to traffic in 2025. Together with the Highways England A47 dualling between North Tuddenham and Easton, due to get underway in early 2022, this would create a fully dual carriageway orbital route around Norwich.
For more information on the Norwich Western Link, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl.