Norwich Western Link Local Access Consultation gets underway

Norfolk County Council has today (Monday 27 July) launched a public consultation which asks for people’s views on how it could best support people to walk, cycle and use public transport in the area to the west of Norwich.

The consultation is part of the council’s Norwich Western Link project, which would see a new 3.8 mile dual carriageway road created between the western end of Broadland Northway and the A47. Together with the planned dualling of the A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton, the new road would create a fully dualled orbital route around Norwich, reducing the need for traffic to enter the city and alleviating local transport issues to the west of Norwich.

One of the Norwich Western Link’s objectives is to encourage and support walking, cycling and public transport use. While the traffic relief the new road will provide on the existing road network will help with this, the council wants to add to these benefits by bringing in additional measures. These could include new facilities and connections specifically for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, and giving cyclists greater priority on roads that link communities to key employment, educational and leisure locations.

The consultation will also gauge interest in a potential new ‘Western Arc’ bus service that could link the western suburbs of Norwich to places including Longwater Retail Park, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia without the need to travel into central Norwich to change buses.

Another important element of the consultation is the council’s proposals for the four local roads that are crossed by the planned route of the Norwich Western Link as well as additional Public Rights of Way in the vicinity of the new road. [For more information on the proposals for the local roads, please see notes to editors]

Councillor Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure at Norfolk County Council, said: “The Norwich Western Link will significantly change travel to the west of Norwich and we’ve been looking at the opportunities this creates to help people get where they want to go on foot, by bike or on the bus. This is an important part of what we’re setting out to achieve with the project and it has the potential to have a really positive impact on health and quality of life, as well as making it easier for people to get to schools, colleges, health facilities and places of employment.

“Local parish councils, walking and cycling groups, bus companies and others have fed into our work to come up with some proposals that we think could be effective at giving people more travel options. We now want to see what everyone else thinks, including those who currently use these routes or would want to in the future.”

The Local Access Consultation will run for eight weeks until Sunday 20 September. People can view information on the proposals and respond to the consultation online via the Norfolk County Council website at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl. People can also request a consultation brochure and paper questionnaire are posted to them by ringing 0344 800 8020 or emailing norwichwesternlink@norfolk.gov.uk. The completed questionnaire can then be returned to a freepost address.

In accordance with COVID-19 guidance, no local consultation events will be held, however people will still be able to discuss the consultation proposals with staff involved in the project via phone or internet calls during the consultation period. People can use the email and telephone contact details above to book an appointment to speak with members of the project team, with daytime and evening slots available.

Information gathered from this consultation will help inform design decisions and proposals for the project. A further public consultation on other elements of the project is due to be held next year ahead of the planning application being submitted. Subject to securing funding and completing necessary statutory processes, the Norwich Western Link is scheduled to start construction in 2023 and be open to traffic in 2025.

For more information on the Norwich Western Link, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl.

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