Mustard video: Protesters call for council to scrap Northern Distributor Road plans
09:14 03 June 2014
Protesters gathered in Norwich to voice their concerns over the £148.5m Northern Distributor Road project ahead of a preliminary meeting this afternoon.
What they said?
East of England Ambulance Service – Robert J Flute, head of resilience and special operations: “Clearly any new road infrastructure is likely to help us to get to patients quicker, as the NDR will bring much needed traffic relief to the north and east of Norwich, the city centre and reduce ambulance journey times to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.”
Visit North Norfolk Coast and Countryside – Michael Timewell, chairman: “Tourism in North Norfolk accounts for 6,500 jobs, accounting for 23pc of all employment at a value of £420m.
“The delays caused by the traffic congestion in the north of Norwich currently adversely affect all our members’ businesses, both in terms of visitor inconvenience and additional operating costs.”
Campaign to Protect Rural England –
Katy Jones, Norfolk branch manager: “The NDR will inevitably lead to infill development to the north of the city, causing an increase in congestion and light pollution and a decrease in the quality of life for the people of Norwich and beyond.
“It is an ill-conceived road, which is neither needed nor wanted.”
Green Party – Andrew Boswell, leader of the party on Norwich City Council: “Climate change is one of the most important issues facing mankind and we owe it to future generations to take it very seriously. “This road will increase traffic and emissions and is very damaging to the environment.”
Protesters gathered in Norwich to voice their concerns over the £148.5m Northern Distributor Road project ahead of a preliminary meeting.
More than 50 campaigners called on the council to consider the environmental impact of the road and pay more attention to those opposing the plans.
Leading the protest, Norwich and Norfolk Friends of the Earth co-ordinator Jenn Parkhouse said: “Plans for the Northern Distributor Road have been on the drawing board for decades.
“We feel that the public are unaware of the sheer size of the road, originally it was sold to the public as a small, local road but it is now going to be enormous.
“The council’s own figures project a 43 per cent increase in traffic, but they’ve given no consideration to the impact this will have on targets set in the 2008 Climate Act and no consideration to air pollution and the loss of public access to green spaces.”
At the meeting at Blackfriars Hall planning inspector Elizabeth Hill presented a timetable for the full examination, expected to last up to six months.
She also faced a barrage of questions from campaigners who wanted to make their views heard.
Concerns were again raised about a number of consultation documents allegedly lost by the county council at an earlier stage in the proceedings.
Mrs Hill was quick to reassure people that the points raised in those letters had been taken into consideration, and that the examination process would be transparent and even-handed.
She then presented a timetable for the examination, giving interested parties until June 30 to provide written representation or notification of their wish to speak at an open floor hearing.
An accompanied site visit will take place on July 8, followed by the open floor hearing on July 9 and a full timetable will be released later this week.
Norfolk County Council is promoting the NDR scheme, supported by organisations including Norwich Business Improvement District (Bid), Norwich City Council and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.
A chamber spokesman said: “The Norwich Northern Distributor Road will be a key piece of infrastructure that will provide an effective distributor road for traffic travelling from the north of the city to the south.
“Norfolk Chamber of Commerce considers that the road will provide an excellent base position for the future development of a multi-modal transport strategy which will ensure that Norwich can continue to compete as one of the major cities in the UK.”
What’s your view on the NDR? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.