Possible ‘missing link’ routes for Norwich Northern Distributor Road revealed
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2013
Potential routes for the so-called 'missing link' on the controversial £148.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road have been unveiled.
Inspectors are currently considering evidence about the proposed road, which would stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the east of the city, around to the A1067 Fakenham Road.
But a long-standing criticism of that route is that it does not connect with the A47 to the west of Norwich. And yesterday, council officers revealed ways it might in the future.
When the road was proposed more than a decade ago, it did link to the A47 to the west of the city. But that was abandoned because an environmentally acceptable and affordable way of crossing the Wensum valley could not be found.
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However, the council last year agreed to carry out a feasibility study looking into whether a link could be provided in the future.
And consultants Mott MacDonald have come up with 13 possible routes. The capital costs range from £28.3m to £102.5m, depending on whether the routes were dual or single carriageway.
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Potential routes include:
• From Attlebridge on the A1067, passing east of Weston Longville to join up with the A47 near Honingham, or near Easton.
• From the A1067 at Deighton Hills, passing near Ringland to join up west of Easton on the A47.
• From the A1067 at Deighton Hills, passing west of Queens Hills to connect with the A47 at Longwater.
Some of the routes could only be single carriageway, but others have the potential to be dual carriageway, the report said.
However, council officers warned the chances of the government providing money for any route was 'low', so other ways to pay for such a route would have to be figured out if the council were to pursue it.
The potential routes were discussed at County Hall yesterday, at a meeting of the environment, development and transport committee.
Tim East, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Costessey, said: 'I am delighted with this report. One of the solutions would be to build a viaduct over the river bed and banks without impacting on the rest of the Wensum Valley.
'We all know this would cost a lot of money, but I have already raised the possibility of using 'shadow tolling' to pay for it.'
Margaret Dewsbury, Conservative county councillor for Hingham, said: 'We really need to agree this final stage of the NDR. We really need to stop rat-runners through Ringland Hills.'
The committee agreed to 'note' the report. But they agreed to hang fire on further work, pending whether the rest of the road gets permission and an announcement on A47 improvements in the autumn statement.
A panel of inspectors is currently deciding whether to recommend the currently proposed road, which has secured £86.5m of cash from the government, should get planning consent from the Secretary of State.
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