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Reader letter: Thousands of new residents will congest the NDR

PUBLISHED: 13:11 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:11 11 April 2018

Broadland Northway/NDR. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Broadland Northway/NDR. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

Do you agree with the Cllr that without more public transport, new residents will be forced to use the NDR instead?

Norfolk County Councillor Martin Wilby claims the NDR has enabled the county council to put in cycling, walking and bus measures and take out traffic from the city centre.

How can this be true when sections of the NDR opened only just before Christmas and yet general traffic was taken out of St Stephens Street/Rampant Horse Street in the city centre in 2015, Westlegate became pedestrianised in 2017, bus lanes were installed along Dereham Road and Grapes Hill in 2015 and a rolling programme of cycle improvements started in 2011?

In other words, none of the sustainable transport measures installed have been dependent on the £205m NDR and it is disingenuous of Cllr Wilby to say otherwise.

Norfolk County Council signed up to a legal condition in the NDR Development Consent Order to prepare an action plan of complementary sustainable transport measures before fully opening the NDR. The action plan must have regard to transport measures which the council proposes to bring forward before 2020/21.

They include bus rapid transit for Norwich, but the council has kicked this into the long grass due, the council says, to “the availability of funding” and “a transport review”. Bus rapid transit for Norwich was projected to cost £50m, less than the £56.5m overrun cost on the NDR which has to be found locally. Norfolk County Council must answer why it is in breach of the Order.

Norfolk County Council’s failure to make progress on developing a bus rapid transit network comprising six cross-city routes for linking up new housing and employment sites with the city centre will store up serious traffic problems for the future.

Without high quality public transport being put in place before the NDR opens, people will find it easier to drive. The Southern Bypass encouraged lots of local car journeys around the edge of Norwich which has resulted in plans to spend more millions on enlarging the Southern Bypass junctions.

Over time, the NDR will go the same way. Traffic and delays to buses will be even worse when thousands of new residents living on new estates around Norwich take to the NDR and city roads in their cars.

Do you agree with the Cllr? Let us know in the comments below or write to us at edpletters@archant.co.uk

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