Four potential road options for a Norwich Western Link, designed to improve travel between the A47 and the western end of Broadland Northway (formerly Northern Distributor Road) and tackle transport problems in this area, have now been published.
Three new dual carriageway roads and a single carriageway upgrade to the B1535 make up the shortlisted options. While the majority of the new or improved roads would be built at or near ground level, viaduct-style bridges over river flood plains are included in some of the options. All of the routes also include improvements to the A1067 Fakenham Road.
The shortlisted options, from west to east, are:
A 7.2 mile single carriageway upgrade to the B1535 and A1067, linking to the A47 at the Wood Lane junction north of Honingham. This option would significantly realign the current B road, smoothing it out to make it a higher standard route. The route would join the A1067 via a new junction at Lenwade and make use of the existing bridge across the River Wensum at Attlebridge.
It is predicted this route would carry around 10,000 vehicles a day by 2040. The estimated cost is £60m.
A new dual carriageway route and dual carriageway upgrade of the A1067, with the new route to the east of Weston Longville and linking to the A47 at Wood Lane. At the northern end of this route, two alternatives are given for how it could join the A1067. One would be via a new junction near Attlebridge which would include widening the existing River Wensum bridge at Attlebridge – this route would total 5.1 miles in length. The other would see a new 660 metre viaduct crossing of the Wensum created, joining the A1067 further to the east and would total 4.7 miles in length.
It is predicted this route would carry around 30,000 vehicles a day by 2040. The cost of the route using the existing bridge is estimated at £129m while the viaduct alternative is estimated to cost £155m.
A new dual carriageway route and dual carriageway upgrade of the A1067, linking to the A47 at Wood Lane and totalling 3.9 miles. A short section of the A1067 would be dualled before a new junction would take the route between Weston Longville and Ringland, crossing the River Wensum on a 720 metre-long viaduct.
It is predicted this route would carry around 32,000 vehicles a day by 2040. The estimated cost is £153m.
A new dual carriageway route and dual carriageway upgrade of the A1067. The route is similar to Option C at its northern end, however it then runs to the west of Ringland and links to the A47 further east. A short section of the A1067 would be dualled before a new junction would take the route between Weston Longville and Ringland, crossing the River Wensum on a 660 metre-long viaduct, then turning more to the south and crossing the River Tud on a second viaduct, this one 120 metres long, before it meets the A47.
Two alternatives for how option D could join the A47 are shown. This is due to Highways England’s plans to dual the section of the A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton. There is currently limited detail available on the new junction location near Easton and, until more detail is known, the Council has accounted for the possibility of the junction being located near Blind Lane and Taverham Road or closer to the current Easton roundabout junction. The location of the junction makes a small difference to the overall length of the route – 3.8 miles if the route connects near Blind Lane and Taverham Road and 3.7 miles if it connects near the current Easton roundabout.
It is predicted this route would carry around 31,000 vehicles a day by 2040. The estimated cost is £161m (this remains the same for both alternatives for how the route could join the A47).
The project objectives set out what a Norwich Western Link should provide and enable. The objectives are in two tiers - high-level objectives and specific objectives. These objectives have been discussed at meetings with local communities and are subject to ongoing refinement as the Norwich Western Link advances.
The development of this link looks to connect the Broadland Northway from the A1067 to the A47 west of Norwich.
A Norwich Western Link could give residents, businesses, visitors and people travelling through the area a number of important benefits, including:
Subject to all the necessary statutory processes being completed, we are aiming to start construction on a Norwich Western Link in 2022.