Calls for A47 work to account for future link to Norwich Northern Distributor Road

Work on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Picture: Nigel Pickover

Work on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Picture: Nigel Pickover - Credit: Archant

Highways bosses have been urged to make sure they account for a potential link to the Northern Distributor Road when long-awaited improvements to the A47 are made.

A £300m programme to upgrade the road was announced in the run- up to last year's general election, but work is not due to start until 2020 and may not be completed until 2023.

The plans include dualling the A47 from North Tuddenham to Easton.

Norfolk County Council members spoke to Highways England representatives about the plans at a recent meeting at County Hall, where they made the case that the stretch must be designed with a junction in mind to link to a new road leading to the NDR.

The lack of a link has been a criticism of the £178.5m, 12.5-mile NDR, which is under construction and will stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road.

People in places such as Costessey, Weston Longville and Ringland fear it will lead to rat-running where they live in the absence of a proper connection from the A1067 to the A47.

And a group of councillors at Norfolk County Council has been working on reviving the missing link, with consultants Mouchel brought in to explore possible routes.

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Conservative Bill Borrett said it was essential that the A47 work took that possibility into account. He said: 'Our message was that this particular road is a priority for the county council and that Highways England should take account of that and deliver a junction for the potential western link to the NDR.'

Highways England warned earlier last year that road building was a 'hugely complex task' and it was likely to be five years before diggers could move in.