Investing in North Norfolk

On Monday Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet (the group of Conservative councillors who decide on policy at County Hall) adopted a new Strategic Infrastructure Plan for Norfolk:

item 12 Norfolk Strategic Infrastructure Delivery Plan

Read the report and there are some good and important projects included. But it’s also pretty clear that there is VERY little investment in North Norfolk. Improving broadband connectivity isnt enough.

I particularly welcome investment in upgrading the Weavers’ Way but a little bit of ambition could have created a bigger, better and more useful sustainable transport network for North Norfolk. Earlier in the year I suggested that upgrading the Paston Way could create a cycle (and pushchair) friendly route between North Walsham and the coast that would help with transport to school and to work and could cut car use. Sadly I was told the scheme was too complicated. I don’t agree and I will continue pushing for it to be considered.

I’ve also pointed out that the government needs to step up with the equivalent of a rural equivalent of the ‘Transforming Cities Fund’ which is being used to pump millions of pounds into transport in and around Norwich. Something similar existed during the coalition government. It needs to be resurrected more than ever now: funding rail links to business parks that no one wants to work in is not the way forward. We need to think about the future shape of the economy and to plan to make it as sustainable and people-friendly as possible.

Photo is taken from the report and shows infrastructure projects planned by ‘other’ organisations. Norfolk County Council plans to do very little to plug the obvious gap.