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Roads to Nowhere

Approval of new Norfolk dual carriageway beggars belief, say campaigners

2 June 2015

Campaigners have condemned the Government's decision to give planning permission to a £150 million dual carriageway in Norfolk.

Reacting to the news that the Government has given planning permission to the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport said:

"It beggars belief that ministers have approved this scheme when, even on its own terms, there is no case for carving 20 km of new dual carriageway through the fringes of the Broads.  The £150 million of public money being wasted on this road would be far better spent on public transport, sorting out potholes, space for cycling, getting freight off our roads and reducing the need to travel by car."

Denise Carlo from  the Norwich and Norfolk Transport Acton Group (NNTAG), which represented local concerns and opposed the scheme at the planning examination that finished in March said:

“This three quarters ‘road to nowhere’ has been rushed through under new planning laws biased in favour of building new roads. There will be many losers. They include communities close to the NDR whose quality of life will suffer as a result of more traffic, noise and urban sprawl; the countryside around Norwich and its savage devastation; and loss to the city centre economy as more businesses relocate to the NDR.

"Norfolk is under serious threat from climate change induced sea level rise and constructing a carbon generating third ring road around Norwich is grossly irresponsible.  This decision will also have a serious financial impact as Norfolk County Council has pledged £60 million towards the NDR on top of the millions it has already wasted.

"We have previously lobbied the Department for Transport for alternatives to the NDR. This led to Ministers making delivery of sustainable transport measures a condition of funding approval for the NDR.  Norwich is now starting to see the results of this policy.  We will continue to press for Norfolk County Council to deliver its promised sustainable transport improvements for Norwich.  We will also continue to oppose Norfolk County Council’s efforts to take the NDR across the beautiful Wensum river valley, a jewel in Norfolk’s crown”.

Notes:

1. The decision notice issued by Transport ministers today can be seen here.

2. More details of the problems with the road scheme can be seen on the NNTAG website.

3. The scheme is promoted by Norfolk County Council. Their project page can be seen here.