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Highways bosses urged to use previous design for Norwich's …


Members of the public study the latest plans for the NDR, on display at the Forum.</p>
<p>Philip Cooper checks details with project technician, Dan North, right. Picture: Denise Bradley” width=”225″ /></a></p>
<p>   <em>Members of the public study the latest plans for the NDR, on display at the Forum. Philip Cooper checks details with project technician, Dan North, right.</p>
<p>Picture: Denise Bradley</em>
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          By richard wheeler<br />
      <br />
        Wednesday, April 10, 2013<br />
   <br />10:39 AM
      </p>
<p>Highways engineers have been urged to use a previous route design for Norwich s 141.5m northern bypass (NDR) to protect Taverham and Thorpe Marriott.</p>
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There are fears motorists could use the areas as a rat-run if Norfolk County Council seeks to construct the road in its proposed form.

The county council changed the route to remove a roundabout at Fir Covert Road, Taverham, after it said community concerns were raised during a consultation last year about the potentially high number of vehicles using the street.

The roundabout was relocated to a junction with the A1067 Fakenham Road, west of Taverham.

And while Broadland District Council s Conservative cabinet noted its strong support for the bypass yesterday, members agreed to ask the county council to examine the cost, viability and feasibility of all options for its design.

Stuart Clancy, cabinet member for economic development, said he believed the county council should return to its designs shown to the public in Spring 2012, which included a roundabout at Fir Covert Road.

He told cabinet he was at a loss to explain why the route was later changed as he believed evidence from highways officials suggested it would produce the best results.

The Taverham South councillor said: Ultimately the only solution for the NDR is a full one to link to the A47. We are where we are with the proposal.

I must make it clear I speak as a member for Taverham South, in the interests of the villages of Taverham and Thorpe Marriott.

There s a very strong professional view for the roundabout to remain on Fir Covert Road, which is in the interest of the whole communities of Taverham and Thorpe Marriott, which will allow access and egress along the road.

A report signed-off by Broadland s head of planning, Phil Courtier, states the closure of Fir Covert Road may fragment the business community and hamper opportunities for growth. It adds the change could result in vehicles using Taverham, Drayton and Thorpe Marriott as a short-cut.

There have also been calls by Broadland for other issues to be examined, including junctions along the planned route and better-lit cycle paths.

The county council says it is examining all feedback as it works towards finalising designs for the road, and it will look into the concerns raised by Broadland.

Peter Balcombe, Hellesdon South East Liberal Democrat, told cabinet yesterday: I am not sure personally either of the options we ve got at the moment get it right.

I can see the disadvantage to Fir Covert Road businesses, but equally if you go back to the original plan and push more traffic, as that would do, down Reepham Road, that adversely affects a lot of other businesses, namely those on the Airport Industrial Estate and on Reepham Road itself.

Whatever we do is difficult.

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