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Inspectors to question proposed £148.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road’s ‘missing link’

06:30 03 September 2014

Protesters against the proposed Norwich Northern Distributor Road. 
Photo by Simon Finlay.

Protesters against the proposed Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Photo by Simon Finlay.

A panel of inspectors which will decide if the controversial £148.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road should be recommended to go ahead returns for more public hearings later this month.

And one of the key questions inspectors are posing is whether the 20km road could eventually connect with the A47 to the west of the city - with the absence of such a link long having been a criticism levelled at the scheme.

The council wants to build the road from the A47 at Postwick in the east of the city to the A1067 Fakenham Road to the north-west and has secured £86.5m from the government for it.

But, for it to go ahead, it needs planning consent from the Secretary of State. A recommendation on whether that consent should be given will be made by a panel of three inspectors.

They held a number of open hearings in July, but the bulk of their inspection involves written evidence being submitted by the county council and those in favour and against the road.

When the road was first proposed, it did link to the A47 to the west of the city, but that notion was dropped. The council said that was because an environmentally acceptable and affordable way of crossing the Wensum valley could not be found.

However, the council has agreed to carry out a feasibility study looking into whether a link could be provided in the future and the inspectors are seeking an explanation as to why that study has not been set in hand.

They have also asked the council to confirm that, if it were built as far as the A1067, with a roundabout at Deighton Hills and Fir Covert Road, if it would be possible to consider construction of the western link in the future.

The issue of the ‘missing link’ is likely to form a key part in the latest round of public hearings.

The hearings will take place in the Assembly House in Theatre Street. The first two will take place on Tuesday, September 16 and Wednesday, September 17 from 10am until 6pm.

The third - where the link to the A47 in the west will be discussed - will take place from 10am until 4pm and the fourth from 10am until 2pm.

Norfolk County Council says the road will bring an economic boost to the county, create jobs and ease congestion but critics say it will see swathes of countryside concreted over and encourage even more people to use cars.

• What’s your view on the road? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

31 comments

  • You are right that new roads increase demand for car use, but i can't see this being a net worsening of the situation. Certainly the ring road are will benefit and that has lots of people next to it. The city centre might well be worse if the population increases as you expect.

    Report this comment

    Parsnip

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • Parsnip - surely the overall effect will be 24,000 new people using the NDR. If those already living in the area move into the new housing their homes will be taken up by newcomers. The economics of the road is based on 12,000 new homes. Remember that this new housing is likely to attract people from outside Norwich and is part of a UK countrywide plan..

    Report this comment

    Barbara

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • Barbara, you are assuming that all the people moving to the 'new homes' are new to the area. This is not true. The population of Norwich has gone around 10% in 20 years (i.e. 15,000). Building one estate won't attract 24,000 new people to Norwich. Therefore the Northern DR won't increase traffic in Norwich by 10-15% as you 'predict'.

    Report this comment

    Parsnip

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • Unfortunately it's a vicious circle. The NDR needs 12,000 new homes to finance it, 12,000 new homes = 24,000 more cars, 24,000 more cars need more new roads etc. The congestion will never end as long as the road is dependent on new house building.

    Report this comment

    Barbara

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • Spot on Canary, get this road built as soon as, it was needed 10years ago, let alone some distant time in the future. I've always said this, and I'll say it again the amount of road area in the county is disproportionate to the amount of people and cars in and around Norwich. There is no other alternative in getting around Norwich & Norfolk. Planners are all to willing to allow big housing devopments without putting in place measures to deal with the increase in road traffic. For instance I believe a housing devoloper has shown interest in puchasing the Royal Norwich Golf Club for a housing program, that area is to be avoided at the best of times, more holmes and cars, the area will be grid-locked. If more houses are built, which brings in more people and cars, then build the roads to deal with this. Build the NDR NOW.

    Report this comment

    KP

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • Jeeez just get it built properly. The southern bypass has been a massive success - its time for the north of the city to have the same.

    Report this comment

    Parsnip

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • Getting anywhere in the city these days is a nightmare. Travelling East-West to the north of the airport is painfully slow. Please hurry up and build the thing! It definitely needs to link up with the A47 to the west of Norwich at some point.

    Report this comment

    Canary

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • Quote "an environmentally acceptable and affordable way of crossing the Wensum valley could not be found". The area between the airport and Postwick is to be developed with many thousands of homes. A levy on these homes is needed to pay for the NDR. House buyers to pay for this extra cost, presumably. No new dwellings no NDR. There aren't going to be any houses between the Fakenham Road and A47 so there is no road. It is possible to mitigate environmental impacts as on the A11 between Thetford and Barton Mills.

    Report this comment

    Capri

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

  • Look forward to reading this.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

  • Rorping, spot on - built in bottlenecks seem to be a Norfolk thing. You only need to drive down St Stephens street to see that the traffic (including First buses, who seem to have the council in their pocket) is held up on purpose by the poor phasing of the traffic lights.

    Report this comment

    IT Man

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • I have to say, I rarely take any notice of Daisy Roots! The article itself states that the council wishes to build the road to the A1067 Fakenham Road! Forget the beautiful countryside, just get on and build the road. There is a bridge over the river at whitlingham and it is still a nice place so build one at the other end and we have a matching pair!

    Report this comment

    IT Man

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • They've been planning this damn thing for years and all along, not once on any of the new housing estates that are swamping the outer northern villagesestates (Sprowston, Thorpe Marriott, etc) have they demanded from the developers that a decent infrastructure of roads in and out of the city are part of the planning applications!!! This would allow them a road network ready for this century with easy egress and access to and from the city and the NDR or whatever you want to call it. The pathetic road structure through that appalling new estate in Sprowston around the Tesco store and the Park and ride scheme with a roundabout that dangerously slopes and another a hundred yards away highlights the councils foresight in planning for the future

    Report this comment

    Grumbly Ol' Git

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Build thr Road Experience the Urban Blight resulting,pressure on services,and more green space under tarmac forever

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • I live adjacent to Beech Avenue in Taverham. It is a familiar sight seeing how much traffic including HGVs and ambulances use the ‘rat run’ to the A47 and return. The Fir Covert Road and Beech Avenue staggered junction with the Fakenham Road is constantly busy and I am surprised there have not been more accidents here. It amazes me that traffic lights were never introduced here. So if the NDR ever gets approval traffic heading west will not leave the NDR at its end onto the A1067, many will leave at the proposed roundabout on Fir Covert Road and take the ‘rat run’, meaning there will be more traffic going through this section. On Beech Avenue there are speed humps in a 20mph zone because there is a High School here. Extra traffic with school children about is a disaster waiting to happen. I wonder why there has never been any consideration given to improving the single track road over Ringland Hills, as most of this road passes through woodland and pastures. If the NDR does get approval then improving Ringland Road is paramount.

    Report this comment

    kfoto

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • What is the road supposed to achieve if it doesn't connect back to the A47? It just moves the bottleneck from one side of Norwich to the other!

    Report this comment

    cliveo

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Odget! Very few of the comments on here are against a new North of the City Road. What they are all trying to say is do the job fully. This means a complete link to the A47 at the Costessey end! In this world of today Human beings have to take priority over Frogs and Newts. The biggest asset to reducing congestion in the City could be to build a Flyover at Ringland Hills. The wild life would soon acclimatise!

    Report this comment

    Joe Rome

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • IT Man, do not take notice of D Roots, let us add two more. The Norwich Ring Road ( county hall to Thorpe) and the Inner Link Road ( Barrack street to Queens road) We need the link over the Wensum. These green nerds need to live in the real World.

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • No body but a numpty would accept this road without a link from the A1067 to the A47.

    Report this comment

    beverley

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Without the missing link to the A47 and A11 the proposed road makes no sense whatsoever. In fact this part should be the primary objective of the plan so far as publically funded infrastructure is concerned any future linkages as a result of privare housing development should be funded by developers. Just sometimes unfortunately a greater need overrides marginal environmental concerns in the name of logical progress

    Report this comment

    guella

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • The road IS needed BUT, if it doesnt link up to the A47 in the west, its pretty pointless, any benefits are lost.

    Report this comment

    Crazy

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Every article about the NDR seems to bring the NIMBYs out in force. some relief to a congested city is better than no relief. Just hurry up and build the thing!

    Report this comment

    Odget

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • I wish these reports would give this road its local name = RTN Road to Nowhere

    Report this comment

    Mrs Meldrew

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • It man is correct, only this county could build half a road, the A11 took 40 years to be completed. Daisy Roots, where the money comes from is not the point the point is where is the traffic going when the road stops on the Fakenham road, Most of the city congestion is caused by poor traffic management, if the current ring road was managed better there would be no need for this NDR, but if it is to be built, and it will be, let's do it properly not half a job.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • .....The bit that is needed the most to ease traffic congestion,is between Costessey and the Airport...not the Eastern End!....If the proposed road is required for the use of the house building industry than it should be called ' The Northern Distributer Road'!....What really happened was the planners of the growth triangle (NE Norwich) tried to hide the truth from the people living there with a massive lie about the Western section being included in the whole scheme!....I say again ' Build the Western section FIRST'!!!!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • I live in North Walsham - If I wish to get to kings Lynn I would drive to Spixworth get on the NDR go to the Fakenham road and then use the Rat runs to get to the A 47 Does this seem like a good idea ! ! The road to nowhere !

    Report this comment

    Skyhookcoffee

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • KeithS, can I add you to my 'IGNORE LIST', please?

    Report this comment

    Catton Man

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • IT man does not seem to understand who pays for which roads. What happens with the A47 is the Highways Agency and nothing to do with NCC. NCC wants a road to allow housing development and ease of passage around the north of Norwich ( which is madness when the major problems are in the city itself.)Surely there is insufficient traffic volume from North Norfolk passing to the southern bypass to warrant a northern bypass-which is why it is not being called that. There are other routes from Fakenham to the A47 for those wishing to travel to the west . However, the question of access to the A11 from the Fakenham Road remains and that link road is probably more important than the NDR as a whole. Which leaves the problem of the geography and the natural beauty of the route-and the expense of dealing with it-bridges, elevated stretches, cuttings etc. So the big question is-is there really enough traffic actually going to the A11 or some distance away on the A47 to justify it rather than residents of the Northern Norwich suburbs who want to go 60mph getting to a retail park rather than do a bit of suburban 30mph driving appropriate to where they live.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Get on and build the road.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Only Norfolk could even dream of building a road and not finishing it. No point in doing anything if it doesn't join the southern bypass. For proof look at the A47 dualling from Dereham to Norwich,(Not quite finished) A 47 Norwich to Gt Yarmouth (Not quite finished) and look at how long it has taken to get the A11 to London finished!

    Report this comment

    IT Man

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • If it doesn`t link to the A47 to the west of the city , don`t build it . Otherwise there will be worse traffic problems in large areas where it remains unfinished . It should be a proper bypass for all , not just for some .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • It has to be the whole complete road or nothing, never mind about the Western link in the future.

    Report this comment

    Catton Man

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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