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The Norwich Western Link will NOT:
  • Cure all our traffic problems ’at a stroke’
    Norfolk County Council predict that traffic on Sandy Lane (Taverham), West End (Costessey) and Longwater Lane will increase compared with 2019. Time and again when new roads have been built, traffic has increased in that area. CPRE have published a detailed investigation which proves this.
    The Norwich Western Link will provide no relief at all for traffic at Longwater or Queen’s Hills. In fact, the traffic using the link will contribute to congestion at pinch-points on the A1270 Broadland Northway (the ‘NDR’) – including the Horsford, Airport, North Walsham and Wroxham junctions.

  • There is also a likelihood that the Western Link will cause rat-running, pollution and congestion on narrow roads south of Honingham: i.e. through Honingham itself, Barnham Broom and other villages as car, van and HGV drivers seek a quicker, shorter route to/from the A11 and Wymondham rather than heading east along the A47 towards Thickthorn or in the other direction towards the Norwich Western Link.

  • Reduce ambulance response times.
    Following claims by a local MP and others than the Norwich Western Link would save up to 20 minutes in emergency response times, we decided to ask the East of England Ambulance Service Trust for the data. They told us: “It is likely that blue light journeys will remain unchanged as there is less impact from traffic congestion.”Which makes complete sense - especially when Norfolk County Council figures for time saved on many journeys, by even the average motorist,  who don't tend to have flashing lights and sirens, is around 5 minutes.

  • “The main influence on our response times remains the hospital handover delays in the region’s acute hospitals." In May 2023, handover time at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital was twice the national average at 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  • Meet our carbon reduction obligations
    Electric cars are not a cure-all for CO2 emissions. Even the government says we must decrease vehicle dependency in order to have any chance of complying with our own laws. New roads will not help. Loss of mature woodland and biodiversity will also increase pollution rather than helping to reduce it.

  • Give more people better ‘mobility’
    In the main, only people who can drive and own a car can make use of a new road. Good bus services allow EVERYONE to gain mobility, at reasonable co

These maps show how much land the Norwich Western Link will cover.

The road itself will be a four lane highway.
Construction will mean that an area twice that width will be extensively damaged.

An aerial shot of the Wensum Valley. The river winds through green fields and wooded areas of trees in full leaf

Why Building Roads Doesn't Work

Lisa Hopkinson from Transport for Quality of Life and Chris Todd from Transport Action Network describe many reasons why the link is unlikely to be a magic solution to local traffic problems

Cost

Norfolk County Council already have a deficit of £60M, forcing them to hike council tax 5% this year. With construction costs spiralling, high inflation and stagnating wages, throwing more money at building this road makes no sense. Increasing costs and an already debt laden council threatens vital services and risks further tax rises.

Carbon

Post-pandemic, other countries across Europe are subsidising public transport to increase passengers. In some cases, numbers now exceed pre-Covid levels and schemes have attracted first time regular users. Land transport represents 40% of Norfolk's carbon emissions. Reducing traffic with reliable and affordable public transport is the only way to cut emissions fast enough to meet legal obligations.

Ecology

* The Wensum valley is a rare chalk stream habitat, 98% of these exist in the UK and none of them are in good condition,. They are our “amazon” - we need to protect and enhance them.

* The proposed road will run through a super colony of barbastelle bats, and skirt close by maternity roosts, doing irreparable damage. The Wensum valley contains numerous other endangered species.

* Mitigation measures used for the Norwich Broadland Northway (NDR) have failed. We cannot afford another set of untested and proven schemes in the vain hope of counteracting the irreversible damage to our local ecology.

Traffic

* The Norwich Western Link increases capacity for cars and leads to further new developments, similar to those appearing along the Norwich Broadland Northway (NDR). This means that any reduction in traffic is highly likely to be short lived.

* The Norwich Western Link assumes all traffic joins the A47, there is no evidence to support this. 

Join us to help Stop The Wensum Link

These organisations have objected to the Norwich Western Link

Click or tap on the logos to read more about their concerns

Norfolk Wildlife Trust logo

"We cannot envisage how it would be possible to proceed with the road and comply with wildlife laws and planning policies, nor provide a net gain for biodiversity"

CPRE - The Countryside Charity Logo

"We conclude that It makes sense to stop the project now, particularly regarding the need not to waste taxpayers’ money on a project which will not be completed due to inevitable legal challenge(s)."

"The available evidence suggests that the impacts of the proposed NDR Western Link on this nationally significant barbastelle population cannot be adequately mitigated or compensated for" The Bat Conservation Trust

British Dragonfly Society Logo

Norfolk Hawker, including its habitat, is currently protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. A dual carriageway will likely reduce the movement of Aeshna isoceles
upstream as a proportion of dispersing individuals will be lost as a result of mortality from vehicle collision

Norwich Cycling campaign logo

"Road building of this type is always detrimental to Cycling, especially when fast dual carriageways sever existing quiet roads connecting the city to the surrounding countryside.  

 

Also because this road will enable the development of suburban sprawl around the north-west of Norwich and that will increase car dependency. "

Norfolk Rivers Trust Logo

 “The development would result in the destruction of globally and nationally important ecological water features, for which mitigation and compensation are not feasible.”

Buglife logo

Link to an open letter signed by Buglife and representatives of RSPB, Friends of the Earth, Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society, Transport Action Network, The Woodland Trust. Plus many notable ecologists and conservationists.

Norwich Western Link, context in local plan and on-going Council, DfT and planning processes

Ringland Woods owner, Dr Iain Robinson, on ecology and the devastating impacts of the NWL

Planning, Habitats Regulations and legal issues

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