For more news on this campaign, visit the Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group (NNTAG) local group page: http://bettertransport.org.uk/norwich_and_norfolk_transport_action_group
Update August 2013: the NNDR is being put through the 'Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project' planning process.
This makes Norfolk County Council's pre-application consultation very significant and it is really important that as many people as possible respond and say that they want to see the scheme cancelled in favour of better public transport, walking and cycling schemes for Norwich.
The NNDR is a huge road to open up countryside for development, along with a massive roundabout no-one needs, called the Postwick Hub.
In December 2011, ministers announced funding had been awarded to the NNDR. The scheme still needs planning permission and a public inquiry for the related Postwick Hub roundabout, paid for by the Highways Agency, is expected to come first.
Plans for the Norwich Northern Distributor Route (NNDR) include two separate elements, costing a total of £113 million:
Why this is a road to nowhere:
Plans for an extended road around Norwich have been rejected several times over recent years. Campaigners and expert consultants have found the same problems with each set of proposals:
Developer plans for housing in the area nearby, including a new ‘eco-town’ and at least one other green development, do not depend on having a new road nearby. Indeed, these developments are designed to minimise car use and need additional public transport provision not a large road.
At a recent planning inquiry for the area’s Joint Core Strategy (JCS), the Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP) admitted that all of their new housing plans until at least 2017 (over 12000 new homes) could go ahead without the bypass:
GNDP were clear in their response to the planning inspector that smaller, more gradual improvements to the Postwick junction area would produce the same economic benefits as the massive scheme linked with the NDR. These changes would be much cheaper and could be paid for using local funds, with no government subsidy.
The Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group run the campaign against the NDR, and are collecting postcards from concerned local residents to send to the Department for Transport.
“The Northern Distributor Route would substantially increase the number of car journeys taking place and take money away from public transport improvements and road safety schemes. We have argued all along for a ‘Plan B’ that focuses on developing derelict sites, meeting local housing needs, providing good public transport links and creating local jobs.”
Lower carbon alternatives for Norwich have been ignored by Norfolk County Council. Greens and developers have proposed more modest ‘fit for purpose’ improvements at the Postwick junction to support housing and businesses, as well as better ways to improve city centre congestion.
The alternative proposals for Postwick junction can also link to a developer funded single carriageway inner orbital road link between A47 Postwick Interchange and A1151 Wroxham. This is shown on the map on the right: all elements of the route are already in the Broadland plan except for short and easily closed gap between Salhouse Road and Plumstead Road East, alongside Racecourse Plantation.
A smaller, slower inner road was one of the original NDR consultation options, but was never developed into a serious alternative by Norfolk County Council. The second map shows how such an inner link road could eventually be extended from Postwick to the A140 north of the Airport if required.
These ideas of modest new small-scale roads for North East Norwich combined with a high quality public transport network, and walking and cycling improvements would be far more effective than an expensive and harmful bypass. They are a genuine ‘Plan B’, which the County Council and the GNDP refuse to contemplate.
Campaign for Better Transport's view:
The Development Pool 'comments period' for people to send in their views to the Department for Transport ended on 14 October 2011.
Campaign for Better Transport submitted a response urging the government to support public transport, not roads, to better support the economy, jobs, health and social goals.
Drawing on the views of expert consultants and local campaigners, we also submitted detailed objections to the Norwich Northern Distributor Route proposal.
You can also download the local campaigners' presentation and the technical report from the transport experts:
Promoted by: Norfolk County Council
Total cost: £112.5 million
Cost per metre: £8,036
Amount requested from the government: £86.5 million
Local authority contribution: £26 million
Latest documents produced by the Council: Best and Final Bid documents
Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a charity (1101929) and a company limited by guarantee (4943428)