Warning that Norfolk will ‘die on its feet’ without more money for roads

Busy road in Long Stratton. Adrian Judd.

Busy road in Long Stratton. Adrian Judd.

Norfolk is on the 'brink of coming to a standstill' and will 'die on its feet' without further investment in roads, councillors have heard.

Norfolk County Council today agreed to name three projects as its transport infrastructure priorities.

Those are the 'missing link' on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, the Long Stratton bypass and the third river crossing at Great Yarmouth.

Conservative Martin Wilby, who proposed the motion agreed at today's full council meeting, said it was not about the council committing money at this stage, but to make sure the government is clear on what Norfolk wants.

Conservative councillor Stuart Clancy said: 'I cannot emphasise the importance enough of these vital infrastructure projects.


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'It's incumbent on us to hold Highways England to account, to reduce bureaucracy and get on with the job.

'We have constant delays, which means projects cost millions more than they need to.

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'It's important that officers have instructions to take every opportunity to achieve them in a timely manner.'

Colleen Walker, Labour councillor, said it was vital that the third river crossing in Great Yarmouth happened.

She said: 'Norfolk is coming to a standstill. If we do not do something quickly, this place will die on its feet.'

But Green councillor Andrew Boswell said seeing building roads as the sole way to generate jobs was a 'narrow creed'.

The western link of the NDR was not pursued previously because of the difficulties of crossing the Wensum Valley.

He said, in the summer, the council agreed to set aside some £600,000 to investigate how it could join up.

And he said setting it as a priority now would preempt the findings of that study.

But the motion was agreed, with just three Greens voting against.

The motion also urged the government to commit to:

• Timely improvement of all the A47, from Peterborough to Lowestoft

• A full dual carriageway standard, with appropriate grade separated junctions.

• Early government confirmation of the Acle Straight and Tilney to East Winch dualling projects.

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