Norwich Western Link: Preferred route selected
Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet has agreed Option C as the preferred route for the Norwich Western Link.
Norfolk County Council (NCC) previously recommended Option C - a new dual carriageway route and a short section of dual carriageway upgrade of the A1067 - as the best overall solution and preferred route for the new link road between the A47 and Broadland Northway (formerly the NDR). As it balances all of the issues the project needs to address. It limits environmental impacts, has a high cost-to-benefit ratio, reduces congestion and rat-running on existing roads, minimises the impact on communities and properties, and received considerable support through their recent consultation.
Commenting on the Cabinet’s preferred route option, Nova Fairbank, Head of Policy for Norfolk Chambers of Commerce said:
“The Norwich Western Link will facilitate easier access to both Norwich airport and Great Yarmouth port. It will further help to improve journeys into and around the west of the city, support potential housing and jobs growth; provide the infrastructure to manage the additional traffic this will create, and improve quality of life for people living in the area.
“This final piece of the puzzle will ensure that Norfolk has infrastructure that will meet our growth ambitions. It will create stronger and more effective links to the Midlands and the North and will help Norfolk businesses to thrive and deliver greater economic growth and jobs.”
Confirming the preferred route option is a major milestone for the project and, while there is still much work to be done, having a preferred route brings them a step closer to starting work to construct the Norwich Western Link in late 2022 and opening the road to traffic in early 2025, subject to securing funding and completing necessary statutory processes.
Further surveys and design work will now be carried out to develop the preferred route. This will include the development of complementary measures to mitigate environmental impacts, encourage walking, cycling and public transport use, and limit the amount, speed and type of vehicles using the existing road network in the area where appropriate.
Alongside their work to identify a preferred route, they have also put together a Strategic Outline Business Case for the project which councillors on their Cabinet also approved today. They intend for this to be submitted to the Department for Transport by the end of the month, which will start the process required to secure funding for the Norwich Western Link from the government. NCC have an excellent case for the need for the road and strong support from the public, the business community, emergency services, local councils and MPs, so they’re very hopeful they will be successful.
NCC will continue to advise when there are significant updates about the project, and they will keep the Norwich Western Link pages of the County Council website updated, which you can find at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl. There will also be a further public consultation on the preferred route before they submit their planning application.