Pre-planning application public consultation
We carried out a public consultation on our proposals for the Norwich Western Link for eight weeks between Monday 15 August and Sunday 9 October 2022. The consultation asked for people’s views on elements of the project which will be included in the planning application, including:
- The design of the road and its structures, including the viaduct
- Environmental mitigation and enhancement measures
- Traffic mitigation measures on the existing road network
We also provided an update on proposals that we consulted on in 2020 in our Local Access Consultation, including measures to support walking and cycling as part of the Norwich Western Link.
We’re currently considering the responses we’ve received as part of the work we need to do to finalise our proposals ahead of submitting the planning application in 2023. We intend to bring a report to a Norfolk County Council cabinet meeting early in 2023 before the planning application is submitted and this will contain a summary of the results of this consultation.
Public consultation on local access
We carried out a public consultation on local access for eight weeks between Monday 27 July and Sunday 20 September 2020. The consultation asked for people’s views on how the council could best support people to walk, cycle and use public transport in the area to the west of Norwich, and for opinions on proposals for local roads that cross the planned Norwich Western Link, as well as for Public Rights of Way in the vicinity of the new road.
Nearly 440 responses were received with more people agreeing with the proposals for the local roads and Public Rights of Way than disagreeing. The exception to this was the responses to the two options presented for Ringland Lane, which were fairly evenly split between keeping the road open to all traffic and restricting it to non-motorised traffic only, with slightly more support for the option which severed the route for motorised traffic.
Of the eight potential sustainable transport measures across the wider area that were consulted on, seven received a similar level of support with only the measure to improve cycle parking at and access to the Airport Park and Ride site from Drayton receiving considerably less support.
Regarding the possible new Western Arc bus service the Norwich Western Link could help to enable, more than a third of respondents to the question selected Option A (a service to connect Thorpe Marriott to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and University of East Anglia via Taverham, Queen’s Hills, Longwater and Bowthorpe) as the route they would be more likely to use. By comparison, Option B (a service to connect Thorpe Marriott to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and University of East Anglia via Drayton, Norwich Airport, Hellesdon and Earlham), was selected by fewer than a fifth of respondents. Just under half of the respondents to the question said they would be likely to use neither service.
Taking into account the feedback we received through the consultation, we are proposing to:
- Keep Ringland Lane open to all traffic via an underpass of the Norwich Western Link
- Sever Weston Road/Church Hill Lane at the point at which it is crossed by the Norwich Western Link
- Sever Breck Road/Breck Lane at the point at which it is crossed by the Norwich Western Link
- Keep The Broadway 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
A map showing the locations of proposed crossings over or under the Norwich Western Link can be viewed below.
For further details on the proposals to support walking, cycling and public transport use as part of the Norwich Western Link project, visit About the Norwich Western Link.
Public consultation on shortlisted options
We published a shortlist of four shortlisted road options for a Norwich Western Link in 2018 and carried out a public consultation on these options between November 2018 and January 2019. You can look through the information that we asked people to consider through the consultation in the consultation brochure
More than 1,900 people responded to the options consultation, with 1,825 responding via the consultation survey available on the consultation website and 104 sending their responses by letter or email. The consultation website was viewed by 3,475 people and a total of 1,245 people came to 17 consultation events staffed by members of the Norwich Western Link project team.
There was strong support for creating the link road and 77% of respondents either agreed or mostly agreed when asked to what extent they agreed there was a need for a Norwich Western Link.
Through the same consultation, people were asked to select any of the shortlisted options they would support as a Norwich Western Link. People were also able to select ‘none of them, do nothing’ and ‘none of them, but something should be done’.
Of all the road options, Option D ranked as the most popular solution with Option C the second most popular. Option B was notably less popular and Option A the least popular of the road options. The ‘do nothing’ option received a similar amount of support as Option B and ‘none of them, but something should be done’ was the least popular choice overall.
A report detailing the results of the consultation has been produced and included in the reports that were considered by our Cabinet on Monday 15 July 2019. Read the cabinet report.
Public consultation on transport issues
This consultation ran between Tuesday, 8 May and Tuesday, 3 July 2018 and asked people for their views on any transport issues that exist to the west of Norwich.
A report detailing the results of the consultation has now been produced - read the report in full.
The Norwich Western Link consultation had two elements – a text-based ‘Initial Views’ questionnaire and a complementary map on which people could highlight transport issues in specific locations.
The Initial View consultation received more than 1,700 responses while more than 750 comments from just over 530 contributors were ‘pinned’ to the consultation map.
The results show that the majority of people who took part in the consultation believe a new road linking the A47 to Broadland Northway (previously the Northern Distributor Road) would help tackle transport issues in the area. This option was selected more than three times as much as the next most popular option, ‘Improving existing roads’.
The full breakdown of responses to this question, showing how many people selected each option, is as follows
People were asked ‘Although one potential option to tackle transport issues in this area is to build a new road we are committed to examining all of the possible options. Which options would you like us to explore?’
- New road linking NDR to A47 - 1,492
- Improving existing roads - 473
- Improving public transport - 312
- Improving cycling routes - 299
- New cycling route linking NDR to A47 - 276
- Traffic calming on existing routes - 206
- Better walking routes - 177
- New walking route linking NDR to A47 - 136
- Other - 30
- Do nothing – 27
People who took part in the consultation were also asked to identify which transport problems were a particular issue in the area to the west of Norwich. The top three issues people selected were:
- Roads not suitable for level of traffic (selected by 1,395 people)
- Rat-running (selected by 1,103 people)
- Slow journey times (selected by 1,001 people)
People were also asked which issues the County Council should consider when planning any transport improvements in the area. The top three issues people selected were:
- Reducing congestion (selected by 1,135 people)
- Reducing rat-running (selected by 1,115 people)
- Shortening journey times (selected by 1,026 people)
If you have any questions or queries on the Norwich Western Link please contact the team by email: Norwichwesternlink@norfolk.gov.uk.