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More than 1,700 have had say over 'missing link' for NDR, with Greens opposing idea

PUBLISHED: 14:49 04 July 2018 | UPDATED: 20:29 04 July 2018

Consultation over whether people want to see a Western Link to connect the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 to the west of the city has closed. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Consultation over whether people want to see a Western Link to connect the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 to the west of the city has closed. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Norfolk County Council

More than 1,700 people had their say in a consultation exploring whether the 'missing link' to join the Broadland Northway to the A47 should be pursued.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee, Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMartin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee, Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norfolk County Council launched an eight week consultation in May, 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 ends at the A1067, but Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council has made linking it with the A47 - known as the Western Link - a priority.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, thanked people for responding.

He said: “This information will be very useful to us when we’re deciding which options are likely to be the most effective at improving people’s journeys.

Green Party city councillor Denise Carlo. Photo: Denise Bradley;Green Party city councillor Denise Carlo. Photo: Denise Bradley;

“We’ll let people know the outcome of the consultation later this year. We plan to analyse the responses over the summer and use them alongside other information to help us come up with some options, at which point there will be a further consultation.”

When the road was at the planning stages, options to link it to the A47, were ruled out because of the cost of crossing the Wensum Valley, a site of special scientific interest.

However, the idea has been revived, with consultants mooting a £160m viaduct as a possibility.

But the Wensum Valley Alliance, the Norfolk branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, are among those opposing the link road.

So, too has the Norwich Green Party. Group leader Denise Carlo said: “A road scheme would cause very large adverse harm to the River Wensum Special Area of Conservation its valley landscape and wildlife habitats.

“It would create a noisy concrete traffic generating collar around Norwich similar in impact to the M25.

“It would undermine Norfolk’s shared responsibility for meeting the UK’s legal targets for cutting carbon emissions.

“It would represent a gross waste of money when council budgets are at breaking point and there are other more sustainable ways to address travel in the study area at a lower cost.”

She said the council should come up with a sustainable transport package before considering major road building.

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