Young minds share their views on NDR western link options at roadshow event

Taverham High School pupils at the ND western link consultation event in Taverham. Picture: David Ha

Taverham High School pupils at the ND western link consultation event in Taverham. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

Youthful eyes were focused on the future of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, as the western link roadshow was visited by a different type of councillor.

Taverham High School pupil Tallula Hipperson, 12. Picture: David Hannant

Taverham High School pupil Tallula Hipperson, 12. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

Members of Taverham High's school council attended the latest of Norfolk County Council's consultations into the next phase of the £205m road, running a close eye over the four options for its so-called western link.

The event was the sixth of 14 events across the county giving people the chance to voice their thoughts and concerns on the link and the youngsters were no different, questioning council officers and sharing their views.

Led by teacher Sally Philpott, the eight youngsters examined the displays and discussed the various options to connect the road, which is now known as the Broadland Northway, to the A47.

Ms Philpott said: 'We thought it was really important to the whole community and as a school, we're always keen for our children to be engaged with what is going on around them.'

Taverham High School pupil Finlay Goodall, 11. Picture: David Hannant

Taverham High School pupil Finlay Goodall, 11. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant


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Meanwhile, the children themselves scrutinised the proposals, with some identifying their preferred routes.

Finlay Goodall, 11, said: 'I think it would improve traffic flow and make the NDR less of a road to nowhere.

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'I think option B is the best route. Going through Lenwade is too far out and Ringland is very rich in wildlife so I think we need to go around it.'

Tallula Hipperson, 12, said she preferred options B or C, adding that she thought the estimated £161m option D would be too expensive.

Taverham High School pupils at the NDR western link consultation event in Taverham. Picture: David H

Taverham High School pupils at the NDR western link consultation event in Taverham. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

She added: 'I think option D is too close to the city.'

While 14-year-old Ewan Dalgliesh said he was yet to select a preferred route, he welcomed the opportunity to view the proposals.

He said: 'We all want to be more aware of what is happening outside of our school and I think the western link would make a real different to our community.'

As council officers take the proposals around the county, project director Chris Fernandez said around 100 people had shown up to each of the consultation events so far, with more than 400 people already having contributed to it online.

Taverham High School pupils at the NDR western link consultation event in Taverham. Picture: David H

Taverham High School pupils at the NDR western link consultation event in Taverham. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

What are the options?

Traffic planners at County Hall have proposed four separate options for a western link - ranging between £60m and £161m in cost.

These options are as follows:

Option A (Cost £60m): Single carriageway upgrade of B1535 between Honingham and Lenwade and a section of the A1067 between Attlebridge and Lenwade.

Taverham High School pupils at the NDR western link consultation event in Taverham. Picture: David H

Taverham High School pupils at the NDR western link consultation event in Taverham. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

Option B: (Cost £155m) New dual carriageway route east of Weston Longville and dual upgrades to a section of the A1067. This option has two sub-options, either widening an existing bridge over the Wensum or a new viaduct east of Attlebridge,

Option C (Cost: £153m): New dual carriageway route between Weston Longville and Ringland, crossing the Wensum and dual upgrades to a shorter section of the A1067.

Option D (Cost: 155m): New dual carriage route close to Ringland, with dual upgrades to an even shorter section of the A1067. Joining the A47 in one of two locations in Taverham.

Options A, B and C all join the A47 at Wood Lane, Honingham, while Option D culd join at one of two locations near Easton.

A consultation is being held this Friday in Fakenham on the potential Norwich Western Link routes. P

A consultation is being held this Friday in Fakenham on the potential Norwich Western Link routes. Picture: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Archant

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