Why April is the duallest month...

PUBLISHED: 11:42 15 April 2018

Broadland Northway open to traffic. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Broadland Northway open to traffic. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

Keith Skipper casts his eye over the new name unveiled for the NDR.

“A road by any other name still goes in the same direction”.

Excuse corruption of that lovely line by Shakespeare about the scent of a rose, but I had to salute local council leaders determined to add a dash of romance to the long-running NDR saga.

They’ve decided to rebrand the controversial Norwich Northern Distributor Road as the Broadland Northway. It beat off strong challenges from Hundred Furlong Way and St Walstan’s Way, the latter named after our patron saint of agriculture.

Perhaps it gradually dawned on councillors that to dedicate such a route to him might seem a mite insensitive in view of occasional interferences with traditional farmland. And there’s power to add when another new homes bandwagon hits the ground running.

City fringe benefits are being lauded loudly. There’s scarcely a whisper about inevitable cost to community character and natural environment. Congestion and pollution appear to be accepted as perfectly legitimate companions for ugly sprawl.

New roads and bypasses of any kind simply fill up with traffic and will continue to do so while emphasis on public transport remains woefully neglected. I may be slightly biased as a professional non-driver, but days of reckoning must come soon to provoke drastic changes in ways we move from one place to another.

To seriously misquote another famous line, this one from T S Eliot’s The Waste Land, we have been constantly reminded “April is the duallest month” in honour of yet another campaign loaded with extravagant claims for safer travel and big economic bonuses. So many numbers and promises dressed up as facts. All the exciting benefits without a single mention of possible drawbacks. Same with the tourism trade often trampling over the very delights used to lure more visitors here in the first place.

I toyed with several ideas to match the letters NDR. Now I reckon all these Norfolk “bonanza” schemes should carry a NDR warning – Not Definitely Right.

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