Council asked to object to plans to dual A47 over ‘shocking’ emission data

Green Norwich city councillor Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Green Norwich city councillor Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk councillor has spoken out against government plans to dual the A47 and highlighted the county’s “shocking” rate of carbon emissions from transport.

Vehicles on the A47. Picture: Rob Howarth/Stella Pictures Ltd

Vehicles on the A47. Picture: Rob Howarth/Stella Pictures Ltd - Credit: Rob Howarth/Stella Pictures Ltd

Plans for a multi-million pound project to dual a five mile section of road from North Tuddenham to Easton are under consultation by Highways England until April 8.

But a Norwich councillor has called on the council to object to the scheme due to climate change.

At a meeting of Norwich city council on Tuesday, March 17, Green councillor Denise Carlo said: “Last month, an appeal court judgment ruled that a third runway at Heathrow was unlawful because the secretary of state had failed to consider the Paris Agreement on climate change.

READ MORE: Have your say on dualling the A47

Councillor Mike Stonard. Pic: Archant.

Councillor Mike Stonard. Pic: Archant. - Credit: Archant

“Environmental groups consider that the same argument applies to the government’s road building programme.”

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She said a preliminary report on the scheme’s environmental impact referred to a “probable increase in carbon emissions for both construction and operation” and added: “This runs counter to the Paris Agreement and the government’s target of cutting emissions to net zero by 2050.

“Surface transport emissions contribute 23pc of UK emissions, with 2019 statistics showing an increase in traffic emissions.

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“Transport’s share of carbon emissions in Norfolk stands at a shocking 38pc. Will the cabinet member ask officers to respond to the consultation stating the city council’s objection to this and other A47 dualling schemes on climate change grounds?”

But Mike Stonard, cabinet member for sustainable growth, said it would be “premature” for the council to object to the “long overdue” A47 improvements.

READ MORE: Q&A: What you need to know about A47 dualling

He said: “The implications of the recent legal judgement about Heathrow are far from certain.

“The need for improvement to the North Tuddenham to Easton section is well-established and something that this council has supported over many years.

“This scheme will reduce congestion, improve road safety and support housing and jobs.”

He added: “I appreciate the importance of trying to reduce transport emissions. However, I am not convinced that objecting to the scheme is appropriate.

“We need to ensure we have an ambitious strategy to minimise the need to travel. This will be best done through the Transport for Norwich Strategy rather than seeking to delay much needed infrastructure investment.”

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