Time’s running out to have your say in Norwich Western Link Local Access Consultation
07 September 2020People have just under two weeks left to respond to a consultation on proposals for local roads that cross the route of a planned new dual carriageway to the west of Norwich and potential measures to support walking, cycling and public transport use in the area.
Norfolk County Council launched the eight-week Norwich Western Link Local Access Consultation on Monday 27 July which is part of its project to create a new 3.8 mile dual carriageway road created between the western end of Broadland Northway and the A47. Together with the planned dualling of the A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton, the new road would create a fully dualled orbital route around Norwich, reducing the need for traffic to enter the city and alleviating local transport issues to the west of Norwich.
One of the Norwich Western Link’s objectives is to encourage and support walking, cycling and public transport use. While the traffic relief the new road will provide on the existing road network will help with this, the council wants to add to these benefits by bringing in additional measures. These could include new facilities and connections specifically for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, and giving cyclists greater priority on roads that link communities to key employment, educational and leisure locations.
The consultation will also gauge interest in a potential new ‘Western Arc’ bus service that could link the western suburbs of Norwich to places including Longwater Retail Park, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia without the need to travel into central Norwich to change buses.
Another important element of the consultation is the council’s proposals for the four local roads that are crossed by the planned route of the Norwich Western Link as well as additional Public Rights of Way in the vicinity of the new road. For more information on the proposals for the local roads, please see below.
Councillor Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure at Norfolk County Council, said: “The Norwich Western Link will improve journey times and reliability between the A47 and Broadway Northway to the west of the city but it will also give people more travel options by taking traffic off local roads and out of communities. We’re consulting on proposals that will build on these benefits to further improve the quality of life of local residents and help people to get about on foot, by bike or on the bus.
“It’s important that people give us their feedback on our proposals now so we can take this into account before making any decisions.”
The Local Access Consultation is due to close at midnight on Sunday 20 September. People can view information on the proposals and respond to the consultation online via the Norfolk County Council website at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl. People can also request a consultation brochure and paper questionnaire are posted to them by ringing 0344 800 8020 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The completed questionnaire can then be returned to a freepost address.
Norfolk County Council is also offering appointments to discuss the consultation proposals with staff involved in the project via phone or internet calls during the consultation period. People can use the email and telephone contact details above to book an appointment to speak with members of the project team.
Information gathered from this consultation will help inform design decisions and proposals for 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.
For more information on the Norwich Western Link, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl.
Local roads that cross the Norwich Western Link
The Norwich Western Link is 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 is therefore asking for views on the following proposals, which have been developed with input from local parish councils:.
- Ringland Lane – two options: to keep the road open to all through traffic; or for it to be restricted to walkers, cyclists and horse riders only. Both options would see Ringland Lane cross under the Norwich Western Link
- Weston Road (a section of which is also known as Church Hill Lane) – to be entirely closed to through traffic
- Breck Road (also known as Breck Lane) – to be entirely closed to through traffic
- The Broadway – kept open as a through route to walkers, cyclists and horse riders only via a green bridge over the Norwich Western Link, which would also serve as a wildlife crossing
Where the council is proposing to close any roads, access to property will be maintained.