About the Norwich Western Link

Norwich Western Link route

At a glance

The Norwich Western Link is a proposed new section of dual carriageway to connect the Broadland Northway (formerly known as the Northern Distributor Road) between the A1067 and the A47 in the west of Norwich. Since construction began on the Broadland Northway, there have been sustained calls to fill in the ‘missing link’ and significantly improve travel between these two major roads.

We are currently carrying out work to refine the route and develop mitigation to take account of findings from our 2021 bat surveys. The dotted line on the map above gives an indication of the refined alignment of the route.

  • Why we’re doing it

We’re responding to the problems raised by communities to the west of Norwich, who suffer from significant rat-running and congestion. We are also making sure we have the infrastructure needed to support future growth in housing and employment, which is vital to support the local economy in Norwich and Norfolk.

  • Making our case

We are gathering the evidence needed to support the detailed planning application necessary for projects of this scale. This evidence, alongside the project proposals, will aim to address the issues being raised by those who oppose the project and will include our commitment to deliver a range of significant environmental mitigation measures.

  • What happens next

Throughout this year we are working to complete a consultation on the details of the project and submit the planning application. More information on the project’s progress will be provided through future Norfolk County Council Cabinet reports.

More information

Protecting the environment

We’re committed to creating this road in an environmentally responsible way. We are aiming to achieve ‘biodiversity net gain’ for all applicable habitats, as set out by Defra, which will see new areas of habitat created, including woodland and wetland, as well as improvements to existing ones.

We will ensure the project has no adverse impacts on the integrity of the River Wensum Special Area of Conservation, which can be achieved through, for example, the design of the viaduct and
construction methods.

We’ve also established an Ecology Liaison Group, involving representatives from local nature conservation groups with the purpose of sharing information and ideas and providing in-depth local insight on ecological matters.

Complementary transport measures

One of the Norwich Western Link’s project objectives is to encourage and support people to walk, cycle and use public transport. Taking traffic off the existing road network will help with this, but we’re also working to develop complementary transport measures that will support this ambition. Between July and September 2020 we carried out a public consultation which asked for people’s views on proposals to support walking, cycling and public transport use. You can read more about the outcome of this consultation on the Have Your Say page.

Taking account of the consultation responses, we are now developing proposals to improve Public Rights of Way in the vicinity of the Norwich Western Link route as well as measures to make walking and cycling more attractive across a wider area.

The walking and cycling measures across the wider area we have shortlisted for further development as part of the project are:

A) A new pedestrian and cycle crossing on the A1067 Fakenham Road at Attlebridge.
B) A new pedestrian and cycle crossing on the A1067 Drayton High Road to improve connectivity with the Marriott’s Way.
C) A cycle friendly on-road link from Attlebridge and Weston Longville towards Norwich via Ringland and Taverham.
D) A cycle friendly on-road link from Ringland to Easton.
E) A cycle-friendly on-road link south of the A47 from Easton to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and University of East Anglia.

A map showing the locations and routes of these proposed measures across the wider area can be viewed below.

A map showing the improvements to local Public Rights of Way we are proposing as part of the project, and how these fit with the existing Public Rights of Way network, can be viewed below.

These proposals include the following crossings of the Norwich Western Link which can be used by walkers, cyclists, horse riders and non-motorised vehicles:

  • An underpass crossing at Ringland Lane towards the northern end of the route. This will be kept open to all traffic.
  • A green bridge at The Broadway towards the southern end of the route which will be restricted to non-motorised traffic only and also serve as a wildlife crossing.
  • A further green bridge between these two, called ‘New Green Bridge’ on the map. This is an additional crossing that has been added to our plans since we consulted last year and it will link into the local Public Rights of Way network as well as serving as a wildlife crossing.

We are still considering options for a potential new bus service which could be viable once the Norwich Western Link is in place and are continuing to discuss this with bus operators.

Introducing traffic measures designed to limit the amount, speed and type of vehicles using the existing road network in the area will also be considered as part of the project.

Project objectives

The project objectives set out what the Norwich Western Link project should provide and enable. The objectives are in two tiers - high-level objectives and specific objectives.

High-level objectives

  • Support sustainable economic growth 
  • Improve the quality of life for local communities 
  • Promote an improved environment 
  • Improve strategic connectivity with the national road network

Specific objectives

  • Improve connectivity and journey times on key routes in Greater Norwich
  • Reduce the impacts of traffic on people and places within the western area of Greater Norwich
  • Encourage and support walking, cycling and public transport use
  • Improve safety on and near the road network, especially for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Protect the natural and built environment, including the integrity of the River Wensum Special Area of Conservation
  • Improve accessibility to key sites in Greater Norwich

Norwich Western Link maps

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