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City Hall discussion on withdrawing support for NDR Western Link delayed after motion pulled

PUBLISHED: 17:22 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:04 30 January 2019

Artist's impression of a viaduct which could carry the Western Link over the River Wensum. Photo: Norfolk County Council

Artist's impression of a viaduct which could carry the Western Link over the River Wensum. Photo: Norfolk County Council

Norfolk County Council

Norwich City Council will not be considering whether to reverse a recent decision to back the proposed road to link the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 - after a motion seeking a u-turn was withdrawn.

Denise Carlo, Green Party leader at Norwich City Council. Pic: Archant Library.Denise Carlo, Green Party leader at Norwich City Council. Pic: Archant Library.

Earlier this month, the city council’s cabinet agreed to maintain its support for the Western Link which Norfolk County Council is looking to build.

That road would connect the NDR, now known as the Broadland Northway, to the A47, with four options on the table.

The city council’s cabinet, while still supporting the principle of the road, did not commit to a single preferred route, although councillors ruled out backing the option of single carriageway improvements to the A1067 and B1535.

And the cabinet agreed support would be withdrawn should final designs not include measures to promote walking, cycling and use of public transport, improve air quality and encourage growth.

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

However, Green group leader Denise Carlo had been due to table a motion tonight that the council should reverse that decision and advise County Hall that it opposes the principle to construct the Western Link.

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust recently said said all four options for the road - some of which include viaducts over river valley - would cause “unacceptable damage” to habitats unless there was a “significant commitment” to mitigation and creating new habitats.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee previously said: “We are absolutely committed to minimising potential adverse impacts and, wherever possible, enhancing the environment.

“We’ve already done lots of work and research into this, including commissioning our own ecologists and environmental experts and seeking advice from Natural England and the Environment Agency.”

But the motion will now not be discussed, after Mrs Carlo withdrew it, because of the packed agenda. It is now likely to be debated at a future council meeting.

Tonight’s City Hall meeting will, however, see the Greens push for the city council to declare a ‘climate emergency’.

Oxford City Council recently took such a step, when it backed a Green party motion which was partially amended by the Labour group.

The Greens hope Norwich will follow suit, with their motion saying resources need to be committed to cut carbon emissions. The motion seeks a pledge from the council to make Norwich carbon neutral by 2030.

What are the Western Link 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 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 near Easton roundabout junction, crossing Wensum on viaduct. Second viaduct over Tud. Cost: £161m.

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