Interesting details can often be found buried in the text of an article on something altogether different. An article in yesterday’s EDP entitled “Congestion-busting bus proposal boost” by Dan Grimmer, which was alerting readers to the fact that Dereham Road has been earmarked for the city’s first rapid bus transit system and that the initial phase of work could start next year. (See corresponding Evening News article here)
The article then proceeded to tell us that the plans, which form a key part of the Norwich Area Transport Strategy, were first mooted last year but the overall scheme is largely dependent on the Northern Distributor Road being built “because cash would have to come from the developers seeking to build homes and businesses in areas opened up by that road”. Then comes the rub, “it is hoped a community infrastructure levy imposed on each home which developers build will help generate cash for the project in the long term”. Meanwhile, transport planners are hoping that “councillors will signal their commitment – by agreeing to start the process within the next few months”.
One familiar name behind all this is Adrian Gunson, cabinet member for travel and transport at Norfolk County Council, who warned: “the roll-out of the whole programme is dependent on having sufficient cash to do it and the NDR is needed for that”. In which case they had better not start any work because the NDR is far from certain to come about and it is the height of irresponsibility to go ahead with a project for which there is uncertain funding. What is it with these councillors in Norfolk County Council and Broadland District Council that they can not face up to reality and persist in living in cloud cuckoo land along with their broken dreams?