£130m road spending spree across county
A series of road schemes totalling almost £130m have been approved for the county, including a £64m connector road in West Winch - despite concerns from one councillor about the construction plans.
Members of Norfolk County Council’s cabinet committee voted on Monday to approve a £42m programme of maintenance, 113 small highway schemes worth £715,000 and other improvements totalling £85m.
Tom McCabe Executive Director, Community and Environmental Services said the £64.73m access road is a “much-needed piece of infrastructure” that he hoped would have the support of the local community
The cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, Martin Wilby, agreed, saying: “The provision of the West Winch housing access road is essential to enable 4,000 homes to be developed.
“We will also provide an alternative route that will bypass the village which suffers from the impact of through traffic.”
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Councillors unanimously agreed to support the Highways capital programme and West Winch access road plans.
Other schemes approved by the council includes the £2.15m refurbishment of Norwich’s Carrow Bridge, a lifting bridge which has risen just twice in three years.
A business case for the access road will now be submitted to the Department for Transport, who it is hoped will provide £50m of the necessary funding.
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However, concerns were raised about the order the construction would take.
Under the council's plan, 350 homes would be built on the Hardwick Green site before the access road is constructed.
Independent councillor Alexandra Kemp said she supported the plans, but the access road must come first due to an increase in accidents in the area and strain on the A10 at peak times.
Mr Wilby said he “fully supported” the plan as it stands.
Responding to the schemes, Labour’s Danny Douglas said the conservative-led cabinet has its road priorities wrong.
“Once again the amounts being spent on anything but new roads are tiny,” he said.
“The proportions should be reversed. More should be spent on maintaining and improving safety on our existing roads, improving public transport and encouraging people to try other ways of moving themselves and goods.
“That would protect our environment and improve our quality of life.”