14 December: The Norwich road got the go-ahead today, but Hastings will instead get a review of alternative options.
The DfT announced decisions on the remaining 25 development pool schemes today. We were devastated to see the awful Norwich Northern Distributer Road (NNDR) get the go-ahead, but hugely relieved that Hastings has been spared the bulldozers – for now.
The DfT’s go-ahead for the Norwich scheme was conditional on Norfolk County Council agreeing to fund a package of sustainable transport measures in Norwich City Centre. This is in recognition that the NDR will do nothing to solve city centre congestion.
Norfolk County Council are already putting in £26 million for this road whilst cutting services, and now have to find more money for this new package. The council still also have to get planning permission for the scheme, and hold a public inquiry, so it is far from being built. Also, the result of the recent legal challenge to the council's Joint Core Strategy is still unknown.
We were relieved that the Bexhill Hastings Link Road did not get the green light today. Instead the DfT announced a three month review of alternatives. We will be working hard with local campaigners to ensure that this review is taken seriously and that we don’t just see another version of the BHLR coming back.
A guest post by our Roads Campaigner, Rebecca Lush Blum