Council bosses’ rat-run fears over £141.5m Norwich northern bypass (NDR)

Members of the public study the latest plans for the NDR, on display at the Forum. Philip Cooper che

Members of the public study the latest plans for the NDR, on display at the Forum. Philip Cooper checks details with project technician, Dan North, right. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2013

Motorists could use Taverham, Drayton and Thorpe Marriott as a rat-run if the planned Norwich northern bypass (NDR) route is constructed, according to council bosses.

Norfolk County Council says it changed the route for the proposed £141.5m project to remove a roundabout at Fir Covert Road, Taverham, after community concerns were raised about the potential number of vehicles using the street.

The roundabout was relocated to a junction with the A1067 Fakenham Road, west of Taverham.

But Broadland District Council believes the closure of Fir Covert Road may fragment the business community, hamper opportunities for growth and could result in vehicles using Taverham, Drayton and Thorpe Marriott as a short-cut.

While Broadland supports the NDR in principle, it has raised questions on issues including its junctions with existing infrastructure and how pedestrians and cyclists will cross roundabouts.

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The Broadland report, signed-off by head of planning Phil Courtier, is due to go before the Conservative cabinet on Tuesday.

Nich Starling, Taverham North Lib Dem councillor, said: 'While I welcome Broadland's acknowledgement that this is finally a problem, I can't support voting for Broadland's response as it says 'we welcome the NDR'. We don't.'

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David Allfrey, Norfolk County Council's major projects manager, said feedback was being examined ahead of work to finalise the NDR design, before an application is formally submitted later this year. He said: 'The county council will continue to work with Broadland District Council in order to look into the concerns they have raised on specific points relating to the scheme, including the implications for Fir Covert Road.'

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