Western Link is ‘price worth paying’ to tackle rat running, say villagers
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
Councillors in a village close to the proposed Norwich Western Link say the road is “inevitable” and “a price worth paying”.
Potential changes to roads and footpaths along the route of the Western Link Road were revealed this week - as a fresh bout of consultation on the route began.
And parish councillors in Weston Longville have welcomed plans for the new road, which will see a 3.8 mile dual carriageway linking the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) to the A47 west of Norwich.
But it is opposed by the Wensum Valley Alliance, the Green Party, County Hall Labour councillors and owners of woodland which would be destroyed by the road.
Clare Morton, parish council chairman, said: “For Weston Longville, it’s a very mixed view.
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“The reality is that nobody really wants a dual carriageway at the end of their garden. But with the number of cars that travel through the parish, to sustain a reasonable quality of life, we are probably better off having traffic on a dual carriageway.
“The dual carriageway will get within a foot of the bottom of my garden. I’m really close to it but for me it is a price worth paying in order to preserve our village.”
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She added: “The road mitigation for sound and visual impact are easier for the council to manage than the rat running there is currently. It really would make a colossal difference.
“Covid-19 really brought it home to us. When lockdown first started the number of cars travelling through the village dropped to about the level of the traffic modelling for the Western Link.
“It was lovely. It really was so nice to be able to walk down country lanes without fearing you were going to be mown down.”
And Ruth Goodall, strategic transportation portfolio holder, said: “We were opposed to it but the reality is once the NDR was built than the final link becomes an inevitability.
“You’ve got the NDR and the three minor roads trying to carry 20,000 vehicles a day.
“For people living along those roads its impossible to see that going on into the future.”
Martin Wilby, county council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, invited people to contribute to the consultation on the project, saying: “We now want to see what everyone else thinks.”
• For full details of the eight-week consultation period, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl.