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16.07.19

County council approves £153m link road amid climate change protests

Norwich county councillors have formally approved a new link road for the Norwich bypass, despite the environmental group Extinction Rebellion staging protests on the steps of the County Hall.

The council’s cabinet committee backed a preferred route for the 3.9-mile road which will cost £153m, linking the A47 to the A1067 and creating a full dual carriageway around Norwich.

Whilst the road still needs to secure planning permission and funding, the approved work is set to start in 2022 and road will open in 2025.

The committee voted nine in favour with one abstention and zero against, but Extinction Rebellion had urged the council not to back the road and staged a dramatic demonstration outside the County Hall which even included a mock-up river.

In February, the climate change activists occupied the council chamber in protest, and they state that the construction of the road will cause excessive pollution and harm bio-diversity.

The road will require a 720-metre viaduct over the River Wensum, a special area of conservation, but the council says it has been in talks with the Environment Agency and Natural England.

The leader of the Norwich County Council, Andrew Proctor, said the route was “badly needed” to tackle traffic problems in the area, adding that it will also speed up emergency response times.

Image credit - N Chadwick

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