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Roads to Nowhere

Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group (NNTAG)

NNTAG logo

Area: Norfolk
Interests: Bus, Cycling, Rail, Road building, Traffic

Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group (NNTAG) is an umbrella organisation for transport groups in Norfolk.   

We meet monthly; please get in touch for details.

Contact: Jill Wheatley
Send them a message
Tel: 01603 667052

Latest news

October 2014: The examination hearing continues. Three sessions were held in September on:

  • The need for the road
  • Alternatives, including no NDR
  • Having half the proposed route taking the road to the airport and the impact on the Wensum Valley

The county council have had to do some extra work (by 3 November), as mistakes were found in their appraisal of the public transport option. Apparently their transport model only ever shows negative results in respect of public transport, in contrast to the national picture! The county environmental consultation has found the prospect of long-term (up to 15 years) negative effects of noise, pollution and visual intrusion for local residents, particularly in the Thorpe End and Plumstead areas.

From now until the programmed finish date in December paper submissions will be considered. After three months the examiner's report goes to the Secretary of State for Transport who has three months to make a decision. This timescale probably takes us to after the General Election.

September 2014: The planning inspectors have published a further list of questions, with a deadline of 8 September for responding. Most of the questions are directed at Norfolk CC. The questions show the inspectors digging into the assumptions behind the County's traffic model such as origin and destination of traffic predicted to use the NDR. The NDR appears to be attracting a large number of commuters making short journeys by car to work at the airport and new employment sites at Postwick from the northern suburbs and surrounding villages.          

The Planning inspectors have organised three hearings on the following dates at the Assembly House in Norwich:

  • Tuesday 16 September, 10am to 6pm: Need for the scheme; validity of traffic flows and forecasts; overall value for money of the scheme.
  • Wednesday 17 September, 10am to 6pm: Alternative options to the NDR; alternative route alignments; air quality, noise, landscape, visual impact.
  • Thursday 18 September, 10am to 6pm:  Western termination of the NDR at the airport; link over the River Wensum to the A47. Minor possible changes to scheme and effects on pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

August 2014: The next examination hearing on the NDR open to the public will be held from 16 to 19 September, location to be advised. There will be a focus on traffic flows, alternatives and value for money. Our expert witness Phil Goodwin has written a more recent report which is available on the NDR website. A member of NNTAG took part in a site visit to the west of the city this week. It appears that there will be much more traffic and it will be nearer areas of housing; some footpaths and cycle ways will be severed. The beauty of the areas likely to be affected is apparent at this time of year.

July 2014: The Norwich Northern Distributor Road public examination will last for six months (from 2 June to 2 December) with three inspectors now sitting due to the complexity of the case. 

There are to be 'open floor hearings':

22 July, 10am - 4pm, Assembly House, Norwich
22 July, 6:30pm - 9pm, Oaklands Hotel, Thorpe St.Andrew
23 July, Drayton

NNTAG has commissioned Professor Phil Goodwin, one of the UK's foremost authorities on transport and the economy, to act as their expert adviser for the NDR examination. Professor Goodwin's conclusion is that traffic conditions in 2017 and 2032 would be worse with the NDR than they are today. Using the County Council's own traffic modelling figures and analysis, he finds that:

  • Forecast traffic would be higher (9% in 2017 and 39% in 2032) than today
  • Congestion would be worse. Queues in the morning rush hour will be 4% longer in 2017 and 38% longer in 2032 than today
  • More people would live close to excessive traffic. The number of dwellings near roads with excessive traffic increases by 39% in 2017 and by 74% in 2032 compared to today
  • By 2032, every public transport route into the city centre in the morning rush hour will take longer than today

Professor Goodwin questions the adequacy of the County Council's assumptions about wider economic impacts and growth and has requested further information which could make the economic assessment even less favourable.

Denise Carlo, who coordinates the NNTAG 'No to NDR' campaign, said:
"NNTAG and other community groups will be asking the Planning Inspectors to recommend refusal of this road.  We propose a Plan B sustainable transport alternative based on achieving lower overall traffic volumes in combination with an  inner link road between Broadland Way and the Airport industrial estate."

June 2014: The Public Examination into the NDR is due to start on 2 July. To be able to give your views at this you have to be pre-registered. We understand that the complexity of the case may mean that more than the one inspector will be needed.

April 2014: 

  • Examination of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road plans is due to start in May to last for six months. It is hoped that Professor Phil Goodwin, the noted transport specialist, will be the main witness for the No2NDR campaign.
  • Another major fundraising campaign has been started to help fund the presentation of the opposition case. 
  • When NNTAG analysed the responses to last year's public consultation on the NDR, it was found that three key objections had been lost. Following complaints, Norfolk County Council has launched an inquiry into the missing objections. 
  • The names of all those who registered with the Planning Inspectorate in February / March as an 'interested party' regarding the NDR have been published. NNTAG has analysed the 1,192 representations. They were mainly from individuals objecting to the NDR. Only 23 individual businesses registered support for the NDR (mostly from tourism and the motor trade). Everybody who registered and ticked the box requesting an invitation to the NDR Examination will be able to speak.

March 2014: The Norwich Northern Distributor Road is now seen as a National Infrastructure Project, meaning that the plans will be subject to an Examination rather than an Inquiry. Your last chance to register any objections ends on 23rd March. The Examination will mostly be by correspondence with some 'open floor' meetings, to run for six months from May. More help is needed to deliver leaflets; please contact NNTAG if you can assist.

February 2014: The No2NDR campaign has a new website. The campaign aims to stop the Norwich Northern Distributor Road from being built. The road would destroy vast areas of countryside, lead to a third ring of development around Norwich and cost Norfolk residents over £80 million on top of the Government’s £89 million.

September 2012: The Inquiry is put on hold after new figures reveal a negative cost-benefit ratio - read more in this article from Local Transport Today.

August 2012: NNTAG and other groups have succeeded in persuading the Inquiry Inspector to widen the scope of the Public Inquiry which opens on 25 September. Matters will now include discussion of the NDR, of which Postwick Hub is a key element. Find out more in the latest newsletter from NNTAG (PDF).

July 2012: The No2NDR action day at the Forum was a success - thanks to all who supported it. The public inquiry for Postwick Hub is likely to be in the autumn; however, the Highways Agency is holding a pre-inquiry day on Friday 20 July at 10am at the Kings Centre in King Street. Please attend if you can to show your concern about the NDR and Postwick Hub.

June 2012: The current consultations on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road culminate in an exhibition at the Forum on 11 June, from 9:00 to 5:00. There is concern that, alongside budget cuts in other areas, public money is being used to prepare for the NDR, which 20 groups presently oppose. NNTAG members are being encouraged to help on the day with leafletting etc, but especially for the 12 midday photo slot when it is hoped the media will attend. Please get in touch to find out more.

May 2012: The video being played at the exhibitions about the Norwich Northern Distributor Road is very misleading. It shows a NDR passing through open countryside with no development along its route, even though 10,000 new houses and other developments are planned either side of it. The video also stops short of showing the proposed 'spaghetti junction' at Postwick Hub. You can comment on the plans using the council's online form.

NNTAG have been invited by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to join a new community alliance which is being set up to lobby for lower housing numbers for the Norwich area. The Greater Norwich Development Partnership has set a target of 37,000 new dwellings by 2026. Although housing is not part of NNTAG's remit, the scale and locations of proposed new housing growth have implications for traffic generation which is certainly one of NNTAG's concerns! The substantial amount of housing proposed is driving the bid for a NDR.

April 2012: There's plenty of bus news in NNTAG's latest e-bulletin (PDF, 71K).

The County Council will be holding a series of exhibitions around the route of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road in April-June 2012. At a recent NNTAG meeting, discussion focused on the likely increase in heavy traffic if the road, with its nine roundabouts and three bridges, goes ahead. Emissions will rise and public health suffer. It was also agreed how essential it is for equal funding to be put into the provision of public transport.

March 2012: The Judge in the High Court case ruled in favour of Snub (the Stop Norwich Suburbanisation Group), having found that the Greater Norwich Development Partnership failed to carry out an environmental assessment of the proposed North East Growth Triangle as part of the Joint Core Strategy. Deletion of the growth triangle to enable further public consultation could affect the planning policy basis of Postwick Hub which forms the first stage of a Northern Distributor Road. The Highways Agency is holding a public exhibition on the Postwick Hub plans ('Spaghetti junction') at Broadland District Council Offices on Thorpe Road on 16 March, 12-7:30, and 17 March, 9am-12. Objections and comments have to be in by 13 April.

The Greater Norwich Development Partnership, which up until recently excluded the public from its meetings, is holding its next Board meeting on Thursday 15 March from 2pm–4pm at Broadland District Council. Snub will hold a silent protest. Please come to the meeting and bring a suitably worded poster for holding up.

February 2012: NNTAG is awaiting the outcome of the legal challenge by the chairman of Stop Suburbanisation of Norwich to the Broadland, Norwich and South Norfolk Joint Core Strategy. Should the High Court find in favour of SNUB, Norfolk County Council may have to do further work on the NDR and seek a postponement of the Postwick Hub public inquiry. An unfavourable decision would result in a public inquiry into Postwick Hub in September. Norfolk County Council is organising briefing events for parish councils along the NDR route, some of whom are opposed. Developers say that the housing can be built "with or without the NDR". The Department for Transport re-approval of Programme Entry in December 2011 included the need to implement sustainable transport measures in Norwich city centre as one of the conditions.

December 2011: The Government has announced £86.5 million for the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, but the fight is not over - find out more in NNTAG's latest e-bulletin (PDF, 87K).

August 2011: NNTAG's latest e-bulletin (PDF, 64K) has news of a mass postcard-signing event and much more.

April 2011: The group's latest e-bulletin (PDF, 60K) has news of the future of the Northern Distributor Road, the reopening of Cromer bus station and more.

January 2011: NNTAG's latest e-bulletin (PDF, 61K) is packed with transport news from the county, including news about rural bus cuts.

October 2010: The group's latest e-bulletin (PDF, 60K) has news on the progress of Norfolk's Local Transport Plan and much more.

July 2010: NNTAG's latest e-bulletin (PDF, 59K) includes news about how the change of Government and forthcoming spending cuts could affect transport in the area.

April 2010: Read local transport news and find out what the Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group has been doing in the group's latest e-bulletin (PDF, 65K).

Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group has responded to the Consultation on the Greater Anglia Franchise. Read the group's response (PDF, 71K).

January 2010: A new bus shelter and an all-day ticket called a 'fusion' ticket – plus much more news in their latest e-bulletin (PDF 20kb)

 The group meets quarterly at the Greenhouse, Norwich.  Please contact them for details of future meetings.