Norfolk

Norwich bypass 'missing link': Preferred route revealed

Route 6 has been chosen as the preferred route Image copyright Norfolk County Council
Image caption The council is recommended Route C is approved by councillors on Monday 15 July

A route for the "missing link" in Norwich's £205m bypass has been put forward, but is facing protests from Extinction Rebellion.

Norfolk County Council has unveiled its plans for the Norwich Western Link connecting the completed bypass to the A47.

The council has decided to back Route C for the new 3.9 mile (6.2km) road.

In February this year Extinction Rebellion occupied the full council meeting bringing it to a halt.

Image caption The last County Hall protest saw dozens of campaigners occupy the council chamber

The route links the roundabout to the west of Broadland Northway with the A1067 Fakenham Road and a new junction.

The plans have been opposed by campaigners keen to protect the environmentally-sensitive Wensum Valley.

The council's cabinet is meeting on Monday 15 July to make a final decision.

The council published a shortlist of four potential road options and Route C was seen "as the best overall solution and preferred route".

'Peaceful protest'

Martin Wilby, council cabinet member for highways, said the route "strikes the best balance with everything we need to take into account, limiting environmental impacts, having a high cost-to-benefit ratio, reducing congestion and rat-running on existing roads".

Rupert Read, a spokesman for Extinction Rebellion, said: "I can't go too much into what we have planned but there will be a robust, but peaceful protest on the day."

The last County Hall protest saw dozens of campaigners occupy the council chamber and four people arrested.

Andrew Proctor, Conservative leader of the council, said: "People are entitled to come along and listen to what is said.

"If people want to make their points in a peaceful and dignified manner, we are happy to let them do so, but it is a business meeting for us and we need to treat it as such."

The council is aiming to start construction of road in late 2022 and to open the road to traffic in 2025.

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