Patients would benefit from link to A47 from NDR, say Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital bosses

Mark Davies, the chief executive of the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUH

Mark Davies, the chief executive of the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUH - Credit: Archant

Hospital bosses have backed the so-called 'missing link' which would connect the Broadland Northway to the A47 - saying it would be 'in the interests of patients'.

Mark Davies, chief executive of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), was among 1,700 who took part in k Norfolk County Council consultation asking people for their views on transport issues following the opening of the £205m road, previously known as the Norwich Northern Distributor Road.

The road currently ends at the A1067 Fakenham, but the Conservative-controlled county council has made linking it with the A47 - known as the Western Link - a priority.

Officers will spend the summer analysing the responses to the now-closed consultation before deciding what to do next.

But NNUH chief executive Mr Davies said: 'This will provide a significant improvement in access to the hospital from the north Norfolk area.

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'At present the route is not straightforward and can take some time to navigate across the city. This is particularly an issue for ambulances and other emergencies.'

He said recent years had seen a 69pc increase in ambulances, a 40pc increase in outpatients and 40pc rise in the number of people going to the accident and emergency department at the Colney hospital.

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He said: 'It is important therefore that as the hospital gets busier the surrounding infrastructure is also able to manage this growth. We believe this development is in the interests of our patients and are able to give it our full support.'

The link was also backed by Norwich North MP Chloe Smith. She said: 'It makes sense to have the complete ring around the city. It's the right thing to do to look at how best this can be done.'

Nova Fairbank, from Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said the link would help businesses to thrive and create jobs.

She said: 'This final piece of the puzzle will ensure that Norfolk has infrastructure that is fit for the 21st century. '

But the Wensum Valley Alliance, the Norfolk branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Norwich Green Party oppose the link because of the potential impact on the Wensum Valley.

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