Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Candidates give views on bypass


Clogged inner ring road

For many years issues surrounding plans for a northern bypass for Norwich, also dubbed the Northern Distributor Road (NDR), have been debated.

It is one of the key transport issues to dominate the Norwich North by-election, which takes place this week.

The preferred county council scheme would see a road linking the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 near Taverham.

A more modest scheme put forward would see it linked to the A140 Cromer Road to the north of Norwich.

Environmental concerns

Planners say a bypass is needed to reduce congestion and provide part of the essential infrastructure to deliver major growth in the area.

The scheme is set to cost about £120m and the government is still considering whether to pay for the scheme.

Chloe Smith, the Conservative candidate, is firmly behind the plans.

"We need the Northern Distributor Road. It is essential because residents and businesses need it to get around," she said.

Labour candidate Chris Ostrowski said it was important to build the northern bypass to "relieve congestion in part of the city".

But he would want environmental concerns looked at.

Rupert Read, the Green Party candidate, called for the NDR plan to be scrapped as it would be responsible for 25,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

'Roads not coping'

"That makes it the fourth worst road proposal in the entire country in terms of expected annual CO2 emissions," he said.

April Pond, the Liberal Democrat candidate, said: "I think it is quite clear that the northern side of the city has severe traffic problems.

"It is clear that the road [northern bypass] is important to people. We would also like to see better public transport."

Glenn Tingle, the United Kingdom Independence Party candidate, said it was "essential to address the traffic issues in Norwich".

"If our country was not so over-populated we would not need more motorways," he added.

Craig Murray, the Put An Honest Man in Parliament candidate, said the bypass was needed because "there are at least 70,000 people living in Norwich but outside the inner ring road - that is why the system does not cope".

Independent candidate Bill Holden is opposed to the NDR which he said would "go nowhere and ruin so much".

Robert West, the British National Party candidate, said the need for the NDR was due to "over-population" and called for immigration to be halted.

Other candidates in the election are Thomas Burridge (Libertarian Party), Howling Laud (Official Monster Raving Loony Party), Anne Fryatt (None of the Above party) and Peter Baggs (Independent).

The Norwich North by-election takes place on 23 July.

By Nic Rigby
BBC News, Norwich

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