The ongoing wait to discover whether the government will award millions more on top of what it has already pledged for the £274m Norwich Western Link road is ringing 'alarm bells', it has been claimed.

But council leaders insist they are confident the Department for Transport will increase its agreed contribution to the bill for the controversial road from £213m to £251m, even though months have passed since that possibility was mooted.

Eastern Daily Press: A visualisation of the Norwich Western Link roadA visualisation of the Norwich Western Link road (Image: Norfolk County Council)

The government approved Norfolk County Council's outline business case for the 3.9-mile road, to connect the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 west of Norwich, in October.

Whitehall agreed to provide 85pc of the previously estimated cost of the road -  £213m. But civil servants left the door open to potentially provide 100pc, which would see the council given £251m.

However, since the council lodged its initial request for money, inflation has helped push the estimated cost to £274m and the council could have to borrow cash or dip into reserves to make up the shortfall.

Eastern Daily Press: Green county councillor Jamie OsbornGreen county councillor Jamie Osborn (Image: Jamie Osborn)

At a recent meeting of the council's scrutiny committee, Green councillor Jamie Osborn quizzed members of the Conservative administration and officers about whether the extra government money would materialise.

Mr Osborn, who opposes the road, said: "They announced that in early October and we are three months down the line, but we still do not have the guidance or indication that money is there or not. That raises alarm bells with me."

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk County Council deputy leader Andrew JamiesonNorfolk County Council deputy leader Andrew Jamieson (Image: Norfolk County Council)

But Andrew Jamieson, the council's deputy leader, said he was "confident" the government would provide £251m.

He said: "I am extremely confident this very important piece of infrastructure for the people of Norfolk will continue."

David Allfrey, the council's highway and major projects manager, said: "We are talking regularly with the Department for Transport and they are still concluding their internal processing, which means we have not got a timescale for when they will confirm, other than, hopefully, fairly soon."

READ MORE: Bat-loving protesters march to stop Norwich Western Link

Eastern Daily Press: Brian Watkins, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat groupBrian Watkins, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group (Image: Liberal Democrats)

Liberal Democrat group leader Brian Watkins asked whether the £274m cost prediction could rise further.

Mr Jamieson said there was a £66m contingency included in that figure, which he said was based on "sensible and conservative" estimates around inflation and risk.

The council is due to submit plans for the road to its own planning committee in the next few months.