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The Broadland Northway, formerly known as the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NNDR) is a major road scheme constructed near Norwich numbered A1270. The completed route connects traffic from the east of the city via the A47 to the northwest, which previously had to go through the centre. The road as constructed is not a complete northern bypass, but stops at the A1067 near Thorpe Marriot. The project was controversial as it involved building a new road through a significant amount of countryside.
The distributor road starts at an adaption of the existing junction (Postwick Interchange) with the A47 and A1042 just north of the River Yare. The first section is dual carriageway with at-grade roundabouts, including the A1151 and a dogleg to access Norwich Airport. From there, it proceeds northwest to the A1067. It contains 8 new roundabouts, two grade separated junctions, and 7 bridges, though none of these cross the major rivers in the area.
Norwich has had several attempts at removing traffic from the city centre. The first, now the outer ring road, was built in the 1920s and is now generally built up. The second, the inner ring road, was built in the 1960s, but severed significant amounts of the city, most infamously putting a flyover through the middle of Magdalen Street. The third was the current southern bypass. This left no easy route from the south to the north to access the Broads, for instance.
In 2003, a survey showed that 78% of residents were in favour of a northern bypass. However, there was significant environmental opposition to the western section of the route through the Wensum flood plain, and hence this section was cancelled around 2008. The government pledged £86.5m towards the total cost of the scheme in December 2011, but further controversy occurred when Norfolk County Council decided to build the road from its own budget, which was deemed unfair. Instead, tenders were put out for contract in the usual manner.
At one stage in 2009, the plan was for the road to stop at the A140 by Norwich Airport, but this was later replaced with the current route. In 2012, the plan was upgraded to be dual carriageway throughout. Previously, the western section from the A140 to the A1067 was to be single carriageway.
The road was included in the 2013 spending review, and the planning application was submitted in February 2014.
In March 2018, Norfolk County Council announced that it was going to rename the Norwich Northern Distributor Road as the Broadland Gateway, as the road acts to ease access to the Broadlands.
The road has been criticised by opponents as being unnecessary and being deliberately built for urban sprawl. An alternative suggestion would be to improve the Outer Ring Road to provide better access to the airport from the A11 and A47, which is the major through traffic in the area. It will not help congestion in the north west of the city due to the missing link across the Wensum.
Critics also note that the original plan for a bypass has now been "watered down" to a distributor road, and suggest that the proliferation of roundabouts is due to future provision for new housing estates, retail parks and industrial areas in what is now quiet countryside near the Broads. The roundabouts also invite comparison with the A1237 to the north of York, which is considered by many generally unsuitable as a city bypass owing to the significant traffic that the new development around the road has brought.