Norwich City Council set to back Western Link for NDR and A47, but reject one of the routes

The options for the Western Link. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

The options for the Western Link. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

City councillors are to give their verdict over routes to connect the Norwich Northern Distributor Road to the A47 - with officers urging them to back all options, except one.

Artist's impression of a viaduct over the River Wensum. Photo: Norfolk County Council

Artist's impression of a viaduct over the River Wensum. Photo: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Four options for the so-called Western Link were unveiled by Norfolk County Council in November, with costs ranging from £60m to £161m.

The £205m NDR, now known as the Broadland Northway, ends at the A1067 Fakenham Road, but Norfolk County Council started consultation over potential routes for a link to the A47 in November.

Norwich City Council's cabinet will next week decide what its response to the county council should be.

Officers are recommending the council 'fully supports' the principal of the proposal to construct the link.

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They will ask councillors to tell their counterparts at County Hall they have no preference between options B,C and D, but would not back option A.

That is for a 7.2 mile single carriageway upgrade to the B1535 and A1067, linking to the A47 at the Wood Lane junction north of Honingham.

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Costing an estimated £60m, it would join the A1067 via a new junction at Lenwade and make use of the existing bridge across the River Wensum at Attlebridge.

But City Hall officers say: 'It is felt that the single carriageway option has the least potential to benefit the city. It is projected to carry around 10,000 vehicles a day, whereas the other three options look to cater for over 30,000 vehicles each. 'Taking more traffic away from the existing road network has the potential to unlock capacity for significant improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport in the city.'

They say one of the key benefits of the link would be easier access to Norwich International Airport, but that a single carriageway route would 'reduce that benefit'.

Consultation, at continues until Friday, January 18.

The idea of a Western Link has won backing from businesses, but critics, including the Wensum Valley Alliance and the Norfolk branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England are worried about its impact on the environment and countryside.

Officers at Broadland District Council favour option D, a £161m dual carriageway connecting the NDR to the A47 at near Taverham Road or at Easton.

What are the options?

Option A: Single carriageway upgrade to A1067 to Lenwade and B1535 to A47 Wood Lane junction at Honingham, using existing bridge at Attlebridge. Cost: £60m.

Option B: New dual carriageway and A1067 upgrade. New route to east of Weston Longville linked to A47 at Wood Lane junction. Two alternatives to link to A1067. New junction at Attlebridge, using current bridge or viaduct over Wensum, joining A1067 east of Attlebridge. Cost: £155m.

Option C: New dual carriageway and A1067 upgrade. Link to A47 at Wood Lane. New junction to take route between Weston Longville and Ringland, crossing Wensum on 2,362ft long viaduct. Cost: £153m.

Option D: New dual carriageway and A1067 upgrade. New route west of Ringland, linked to A47 either at Taverham Road junction or closer to the current Easton roundabout junction, crossing Wensum on viaduct. Second viaduct over Tud. Cost: £161m.

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