A project which could see a dual carriageway orbital around Norwich completed has been given approval to contine to the next stage of development.
The Norwich Western Link is a 3.8 mile dual carriageway which would connect the western end of the Broadland Northway (formerly known as the NDR) and the A47 trunk road.
Norfolk County Council submitted a business case for the new road last year which set out why it was needed and outlined support for the project.
That business case has now been approved by central Government, which means that it's been given condition entry to the Department for Transport's 'Large Local Majors' project funding scheme.
This decision has provided more than £1m of development funding for the project this financial year, it also gives the council the green light to proceed to the next stage of the national process.
This will see a more detailed business case submitted for consideration, which if approved would unlock up to 85% of the total estimated £153m cost of the project.
Councillor Martin Wilby, who's the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure at Norfolk County Council, said: "This announcement and funding commitment is really positive news for the Department for Transport.
"Investing in infrastructure improvements will be a vital part of supporting Norfolk's economy to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with the provision of good transport links critical to many of our major industries such as tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing and engineering.
"So this news is particularly welcome right now."
As part of the Western Link project, the council say they're committed to supporting people to walk, cycle and use public transport in the local area.
They say taking vehicles off small rural roads and in residential area will help with this, but a range of complimentary transport measures is also being developed with input from local parish councils, walking and cycling groups, bus companies and others.
Subject to securing funding and completing necessary statutory processes, the Norwich Western Link is scheduled to open to traffic in 2025.