Government backs Norwich Western Link with funding commitment
17 October 2023
2023, Western Link
The government has today (Friday) approved the Outline Business Case for Norfolk County Council’s Norwich Western Link project, which will see a new 3.9 mile dual carriageway road built to the west of Norwich that would cut traffic congestion, reduce journey times and improve air quality in communities.
Norfolk County Council's leader, Councillor Kay Mason Billig, said: "I’m delighted that the Government is showing its confidence in Norfolk by supporting the Norwich Western Link. This will make a huge difference to local people, tackling congestion and poor air quality.
"It enables us to complete this long overdue ring road around Norwich and unlock further opportunities for economic growth - providing more of the high skilled, well-paid jobs that Norfolk needs.
“It’s a great example of how Norfolk stands ready to deliver ambitious projects and we look forward to further Government support, a fairer share of national funding and to unlocking our great potential.”
Cllr Graham Plant, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure at Norfolk County Council, said: “This is the news we’ve been waiting and pushing for, and I’m so pleased ministers have heard us and understood how important the Norwich Western Link is to Norfolk.
“Today’s announcement gives us a commitment from central government to fund the majority of the cost of the project and will bring an anticipated £213m of national investment into the county, with the potential for the government contribution to be uplifted to cover even more of the costs. Continuing to improve our transport infrastructure for all kinds of journeys is vital to the future success of our county and this endorsement of our business case brings the Norwich Western Link a significant step closer to being delivered.”
Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland, said: “I am delighted that this much-needed government investment has been secured for Broadland and Norfolk.
"My Norfolk Parliamentary colleagues and I have been working closely with Norfolk County Council in Parliament to get this funding approved by HM Treasury and the Department for Transport. Not only will this ease traffic congestion on our local roads network, it will help bring over £200 million of national investment into our region and support access to ambitious growth plans at three major employment and enterprise hubs in Greater Norwich.
"This represents major government investment for my constituency and our wider region. I will continue to work on behalf of Broadland residents in Westminster to ensure the continued delivery of government funding for our region.”
The Norwich Western Link will complete a fully-dualled orbital route around Norwich, together with National Highways’ project to dual the A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton. Once built, the new road will reduce journey times, improve road safety, support economic growth, improve air quality in residential areas and support walking, cycling and public transport use by removing traffic from local roads and through the introduction of complementary measures.
As well as reducing existing traffic congestion on local roads and in communities to the west of Norwich, the Norwich Western Link will also prevent congestion from worsening due to planned housing and employment growth in and around the city. The new road will provide a free-flowing, reliable route for traffic seeking to get to and from the north of the city, and will improve access to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich Airport and the Food Enterprise Park at Easton. In combination with Broadland Northway, it will also provide a high-standard alternative route and help to keep traffic moving when there are issues such as roadworks or collisions on other major roads, including the Norwich outer ring road and the A47.
Last month, two videos produced by the county council were shared with government representatives as part of efforts to convey the need for the Norwich Western Link and urge ministers to commit to providing funding. The first featured residents of the village of Weston Longville sharing their concerns and frustrations at the thousands of vehicles that currently rat-run through their community. The video also shows the heavy and queuing traffic through the village. The second film features Clarke Willis of the Food Enterprise Park, talking about the importance of good road infrastructure, including the Norwich Western Link, to local businesses and to attracting investment.
Today’s announcement will enable the county council to finalise work on the Norwich Western Link’s planning application documents. A report will be brought to a meeting of the council’s cabinet as soon as possible containing an update on the project and cabinet members will be asked to approve submission of the planning application.
For more information about the Norwich Western Link, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl.