EnvironmentSouthern EnglandSpeechesTransportation

Chloe Smith – 2019 Statement on the Norwich Western Link

The statement made by Chloe Smith, the Conservative MP for Norwich North, on 21 February 2019.

Ensuring that Norwich has the transport infrastructure it needs is one of my key priorities for the local area. It was really useful to meet with colleagues from Norfolk County Council recently to hear about the need for the Western Link and to have an update on council’s plans for our roads network.

The Western Link is a proposed section of road that links the newly built Northern Distributor Road and the A47. Norfolk County Council is considering different options on the precise location of the Western Link Road.

Encouraging people to have their say in how our County makes decisions is also something I think is really important, which is why I actively encouraged Norwich North residents to take part in the County Council’s consultation to have their say on the options available.

Now the consultation period has concluded, Norfolk County Council will consider the responses it has received from the public and affected stakeholders, before publishing the consultation findings.

I have personally been a big supporter of the Northern Distributor Road and the Western Link to create a complete northern link from the west of Norwich to the business park to the east. This complete link will allow traffic to flow better around the north of Norwich; this will allow businesses to benefit from quicker transportation times, which means more investment and more jobs, and it will help people simply to get about more easily in their everyday lives.

I was proud to lead the lobbying by Norfolk MPs to secure the extra funding to make the NDR a reality and am proud to support plans to build the final quarter of the road, the ‘Western Link’.

Earlier this month, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport, together with other Norfolk MPs in relation to transport priorities for the East and urged him to prioritise three areas:

1.       The full dualling of the A47, including the Acle Straight, after completing the current committed works, and consideration of the Western Link between the A47 and the Norwich Northern Distributor Road

2.       The feasibility study and associated actions to improve the Ely North rail junction – to unlock half hourly train services to King’s Lynn and Norwich from Cambridge.

3.       The promises already made by this Government to make infrastructure improvements to the Great Eastern Mainline so that the new rolling stock will enable ‘Norwich in Ninety’ across the whole timetable rather than the short form promoted in this franchise

 I will continue to support Norfolk County Council in taking forward their plans for the Western Link Road and will be writing on their behalf to the Department for Transport seeking an update on the funding decision for the Transforming Cities project.