City Hall’s support for Western Link road continues, despite ‘unaffordable and unjustifiable’ claims

The Western Link would connect the Broadland Northway (pictured) with the A47. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Western Link would connect the Broadland Northway (pictured) with the A47. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The controversial Western Link for the Norwich Northern Distributor Road still has the conditional support of Norwich City Council - despite opposition by the Labour group at County Hall.

In July, the Labour group at Norfolk County Council announced it was opposing the mooted £153m road, saying to connect the NDR to the A47 is "simply unaffordable and unjustifiable".

Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis is also against the road.

But Labour-controlled City Hall has supported the road in principle - and last night stuck to that stance.

At a full city council meeting, Green city councillor Lesley Grahame asked if Mike Stonard, cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth, would follow suit and oppose the road.

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Mr Stonard said the council's position was unaltered, despite the decision by the Labour group at County Hall.

He said: "The city council's support for the Western Link is dependent on a package of other transport investment and mitigation measures being provided."

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He said, just as the southern bypass had brought benefits by removing slow-moving lorries from the south of Norwich, the NDR, now known as the Broadland Northway, had done likewise for the north and east of the city.

He said the Western Link would bring benefits in the west, but only if coupled with a package of measures to convince people to switch to sustainable transport.

He said: "A lot of claims are being made about the effects the Western Link will have on the environment and climate change, much of which is based upon conjecture.

"I would prefer to wait until the full analysis and modelling results of all the impacts that of the creation of the new link road will have, are published and then an informed decision can be made.

"If, at that stage, the planned mitigation measures do not offset the potential environmental harm of the road, then will be the time for the city council to reconsider its support."

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