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“I think it’s going to be a nightmare. We are thinking about selling up and moving” - Hellesdon residents have their say on Norwich’s Northern Distributor Road

13:09 01 August 2012

Main Exhibition Plan 1 of the NATS Implementation for the Norwich Northern Distributor Road.

Main Exhibition Plan 1 of the NATS Implementation for the Norwich Northern Distributor Road.

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People in Hellesdon had their say on the route of the Norwich northern bypass last night – after concerns were raised that the proposed road would lead to more traffic on their streets.

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The county council has secured £86.5m of the £141.5m cost of the northern distributor road (NDR), which will stretch for 19.5km from Postwick on the A47 to the A1067 Fakenham Road.

But during public consultation on the NDR, Hellesdon Parish Council raised concerns about plans to position a roundabout at Fir Covert Road, rather than at the point where the road meets the A1067 Fakenham Road. The concern was that a roundabout would force traffic onto Reepham Road and council officers have drawn up a possible alternative, which formed part of a public exhibition in Hellesdon yesterday.

Preliminary studies of traffic models have shown how traffic would be affected by shifting the roundabout to the point where the NDR meets the A1067. Council officers say such a move would cut traffic on Reepham Road, between Drayton Wood Road and Middletons Lane by 5pc, compared to the scheme currently on the table. Traffic on Reepham Road, between Middletons Lane and the outer ring road would also be cut by 5pc, although there would be a 4pc increase on Drayton High Road between Middletons Lane and the outer ring road.

But the sting in the tail would come in Thorpe Marriott and Drayton, where, in 2017, traffic levels would increase by 16pc on School Road through the centre of Drayton and by 8pc through Thorpe Marriott.

At yesterday’s public exhibition, held at Hellesdon Community Centre, members of the public were invited to look at the various proposals for the road and to lodge their comments with officers from Norfolk County Council.

Steve Miles, 53, from Westwood Drive in Hellesdon, said: “I think it’s going to be a nightmare. We are thinking about selling up and moving.” And Raymond Tyrell, 79, from Neylond Crescent, said he’s concerned about increased traffic, “It already takes us 20 minutes to get out of our drive.”

The exhibition is the latest in a series about the NDR, which the county council says will reduce rat-running and free up the centre of Norwich for improvements to public transport.

But critics, such as the Norfolk and Norwich Transport Action Group and the Green Party, argue such improvements could be made without the need for a road.

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