Campaigners against Norwich A47 junction changes say the Acle Straight should be dualled instead

Aerial picture of the proposed site of the Postwick hub. Photo: Mike Page

Aerial picture of the proposed site of the Postwick hub. Photo: Mike Page - Credit: Archant

Controversial changes to the A47 on the edge of Norwich should be abandoned in favour of dualling the Acle Straight, objectors told a public inquiry.

People opposed to the creation of a new junction known as the Postwick Hub got their chance to raise concerns at the fourth day of a public inquiry yesterday.

The Postwick Hub is a proposed £21m project which the Highways Agency and Norfolk County Council want to create on the A47 at the east of Norwich.

They say it is needed to ease congestion and to serve the new Broadland Gate business park and to encourage growth and homes.

But they acknowledge the scheme's design paves the way for a link to the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR), although that is not the focus of this inquiry.

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The Postwick Hub scheme would see a number of slip roads closed on and off the A47, replaced by new roads and roundabouts.

Mollie Howes, of Wroxham Road in Sprowston, was one of 10 objectors who put forward alternatives to the scheme.

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She yesterday told the inquiry she would rather see the A47 dualled than the hub built.

She said: 'I cannot understand why the monies allocated, including £86m put aside for the Northern Distributor Road cannot be used to dual the A47 from Yarmouth to Norwich.'

She said the Postwick Hub scheme would lead to more crashes, with drivers confused over the routes they would take. Of the NDR she said: 'It's known locally as the road to nowhere as it doesn't link up with the other side of the southern bypass. It will cover agricultural land and will cause flooding.'

Ean Newberry, from Spinney Road in Thorpe St Andrew, told the inquiry he feared the signalled junction at the centre of the hub was 'a major accident waiting to happen.'

He also said planners should focus on improving links between Norwich and Great Yarmouth and said: 'Good roads and rail links are what's needed, not this uneconomical Postwick Hub.'

Planning inspector ? will today visit the site of the proposed Postwick Hub. The inquiry is due to last until Friday, July 26. Following its conclusion, the planning inspector will make a recommendation as to whether the orders which would allow the Postwick Hub to go ahead should be permitted.

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