‘Obsession’ with road building in Norfolk holds back switch to low emission vehicles, councillor claims

The Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) takes shape. Pic: Mike Page.

The Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) takes shape. Pic: Mike Page. - Credit: Mike Page

At a meeting of Norwich City Council last night, the Greens put forward a motion calling for City Hall to commit to using 100pc electric vehicles in its staff pool by 2020.

The motion also called for more to be done to increase electric car charging points and to work to get improved strategies and policies to promote low emission vehicles.

Green councillor Denise Carlo, who proposed the motion, said not enough was being done to embrace the technology available, with just 20 public electric car charging points in the city.

And she said the council's own number of electric cars had been cut from four to two.

The long-standing critic of the £178.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road, which is currently under construction, said: 'There's an obsession with road building which has consumed huge resources and crowded out alternatives.'

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She said Norwich lagged behind other cities, such as Oxford and Aberdeen, when it came to low emission public transport.

Labour amended the motion, which was subsequently agreed, so that a 100pc City Hall electric vehicle fleet would be considered, rather than committed to and policies over provision of electric car parking points when planning permission is granted should be updated 'where appropriate'.

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Mike Stonard, Labour's cabinet member for resources and business liaison said he welcomed the ideas, but added: 'This council is proud of its excellent record on reducing carbon emissions'.

• The council also agreed to lobby the government over changes to the New Homes Bonus scheme - money received by local authorities which promote housing growth.

Council leaders, who are demanding a government rethink, say the changes mean City Hall will miss out on millions of pounds.

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