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Major benefits from £168 million Government investment into Norfolk for Norwich Western Link

28 May 2021

A £168 million Government investment in Norwich’s Western Link would boost Norfolk’s economy, reduce accidents and journey times and cut carbon emissions, a report reveals.

Norfolk County Council’s cabinet is set to consider the appointment of a main contractor for the project and submission of a business case to the Department for Transport (DfT).

The Government is being asked to cover 85 per cent of the project’s £198 million cost, leveraging vital national investment into the county. Under DfT criteria, the project represents “high value for money”.

Councillor Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, said: “The Norwich Western Link is a crucial part of our plans to boost Norfolk’s recovery, through major infrastructure improvements and is a high priority in our plans.

“The Government has ruled this is high value for money, so we expect it to fund a massive injection of money into Norfolk, delivering a road that so many people and businesses want and showing their confidence in Norfolk.”

The proposed 3.8-mile road would link the Broadland Northway with the A47 and carry 30,000 vehicles per day. A report to cabinet says that the benefits include:

  • Significant reductions in north-south and south-north journey times, west of Norwich – boosting the economy
  • Improved access to employment sites and housing developments
  • Reduced accidents
  • Reduced rat-running through villages
  • Reductions in carbon emissions from vehicles
  • Investment in sustainable transport measures to support walking, cycling and public transport use.

An additional £22 million would be spent on environmental measures, including green bridges and wildlife underpasses, following extensive survey work.

Once cabinet has made its decision on Monday, 7 June, the full council will meet later that day and be asked to endorse their decision.

If the recommendations are approved, a pre-planning public consultation will start in the autumn. A planning application would follow in early 2022. If planning permission is granted, work would start in late 2023, with the road due to open in late 2025.

Cabinet will consider the report when it meets at 10am on Monday, 7 June. You can read the report and view the meeting live, or a recording afterwards.

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