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Diss and Long Stratton transport links to be reviewed before thousands of new homes built

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Diss and Long Stratton have been named as two of eight Norfolk market towns going under review to determine if their transport links will mange with thousands of new homes.

The study, to be conducted by Norfolk County Council, was discussed at a meeting of the Environment, Development and Transport committee on September 15.

Part of this will be solving the current problems but also about having long term plans for how we will prevent future problems

The study will examine whether the transport network in selected market towns in the region will be able to cope with the potential increase of usage as thousands of new homes due to be built.

Councillors originally agreed to studies back in March. Now, eight towns will be investigated during the first two years of the three year programme.

Long Stratton will be one of the first five market towns studied in the first year of research – along with Dereham, Thetford, North Walsham, and Swaffam. Diss, along with Fakenham and Downham Market, will be studied in the next year of research.

The scope of the studies will consider current issues affecting the market towns transport network, and future issues which could impact on them.

Current issues and problems under consideration include parking for residents, business and retail, public transport provisions, cycle networks, and key pedestrian routes.

Future issues and problems for consideration include scenarios in 30 to 50 years after growth proposals, impacts on local transport networks and infrastructure, and implications of future changes to transport provisions or economy.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport committee, said: “We have got to plan for the next 20 to 30 years. We know towns are going to have growth and we need the infrastructure.

“Part of this will be solving the current problems but also about having long term plans for how we will prevent future problems.”

The Long Stratton Area Action Plan is expected to be realised in a little over ten years, to 2026. A bypass is set to be built, with land allocated for 1,800 homes, to the eastern side of the village.

The studies cost £20,000 each. The report adds: “Whilst the studies will focus on transport it will assist in other areas of service planning, most notably access to education and future school transport.”

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