Norwich Western Link public consultation gets underway
15 August 2022
People are being given the opportunity to comment on proposals for the Norwich Western Link before the planning application is finalised and submitted, as a public consultation on the Norfolk County Council project begins today (Monday 15 August).
The eight-week pre-planning application consultation will provide more details about the proposed 3.9 mile dual carriageway road that would connect the A1270 Broadland Northway to the A47 west of Norwich. A new fly-through video and images show what the route could look like, including the viaduct across the River Wensum floodplain. A transparent environmental barrier is proposed along the viaduct which would reduce visual and noise impacts and help to minimise spray from vehicles.
Figures published as part of the consultation show that nearly 25,000 vehicles a day are anticipated to use the Norwich Western Link in 2026, the year it is scheduled to open, rising to 36,500 vehicles 15 years later. A traffic flow map shows the difference the Norwich Western Link is expected to make to the local road network, with roads in Weston Longville and Ringland seeing the biggest reductions in traffic and the biggest increases seen on Broadland Northway and a short section of the A1067 that is due to be upgraded to dual carriageway as part of the project.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure at Norfolk County Council, said:
“We’re working towards getting the planning application for the Norwich Western Link finalised and submitted next year, but before we do we want to share more details on our proposals and get people’s feedback so we can take this into account.
“This is a really significant project for Norfolk that would complete a fully dual carriageway orbital route around Norwich alongside National Highways’ A47 North Tuddenham to Easton dualling scheme. A great deal of care and expertise is going into developing our proposals for the Norwich Western Link to balance all the elements we need to consider, and I hope lots of people will be interested in looking through the information we’re sharing through this consultation and giving us their thoughts.”
Proposed features along the route including ponds, a layby and planting are shown for the first time in the consultation materials, and information is given on the sloped embankments, or ‘earth bunds’, that will be used along much of the route. At between two and five metres in height and planted with native trees, these bunds will help to screen the new road from view and reduce noise in the surrounding area.
Crossings for use by both people and animals are also proposed along the route. Green bridges and underpasses are planned to guide bats and other wildlife across the road safely, and two of the green bridges will link into the local Public Rights of Way network and be available for use by walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.
At the northern end of the route, two options for a wildlife crossing are under consideration – another green bridge or a ‘landscaped bat crossing’, which would see existing trees retained either side of the road and in a central reservation, where the carriageways would separate, to guide bats to fly over the road at a safe height above the tree canopy.
People will also have the chance to give their views on traffic mitigation proposals on the existing road network that would be implemented as part of the Norwich Western Link project. Measures such as road closures, reduced speed limits and changes to junctions are proposed on some minor and B roads, including in areas south of the A47 and north of the A1067, to encourage traffic to keep to major routes.
Four consultation events will be held during the consultation period, with information on display and members of the project team available to discuss the proposals and answer questions. These events will be held at:
- Barnham Broom Village Hall on Friday 2 September (12 - 8pm)
- The Costessey Centre on Friday 9 September (1 - 8pm)
- Weston Longville Hall for All on Thursday 15 September (12 - 8pm)
- Felthorpe Village Hall on Thursday 22 September (12 - 8pm)
There will also be opportunities for people to speak to members of the project team about the proposals via bookable online and phone appointments.
People can find out more about the consultation, view the proposals and give their feedback by filling in an online questionnaire via the Norfolk County Council website on the Norwich Western Link webpage. Hard copies of the consultation brochure and questionnaire can also be requested by emailing email@example.com or phoning 0344 800 8020. People can return their paper questionnaire to the council, or write a letter in response to the consultation, using a Freepost address. Comments can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The public consultation will close on Sunday 9 October and the planning application for the project is due to be submitted next year. Subject to gaining necessary statutory approvals, construction of the Norwich Western Link is scheduled to get underway in late 2024 with the road open for use in late 2026.