Northern Distributor Road (NDR)

Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 05/05/2007 - 15:54

First Norwich Rising Tide action against the NDR

On a fine Saturday morning in May, 15 activists headed into Norwich city centre to hold a roving protest against the proposed Northern Distributor Road (NDR). Posing as members of the fictional Coalition for Roads And Progress (C.R.A.P), we held a series of mock press conferences outside the Forum, where the County Council are holding an exhibition about plans for the NDR.

NDR Demo

Standing in front of a banner reading ‘Build the NDR: Concrete is Freedom’, and surrounded by a crowd of supporters waving placards bearing slogans such as ‘Spend More Time in Your Car!’, ‘Oil is Good for the Planet’, ‘The NDR – industrial paradise’ and ‘Who Needs Green Space or Peace and Quiet?’, the press conference heard from C.R.A.P members about their reasons for supporting the NDR.

Dr. Seymour Rhodes presented new medical research about the health benefits of air pollution and the risks of excessive walking or cycling. Mr. I. Sellmore, the developer on the panel, blew away the myth that the NDR will ease traffic congestion, instead insisting that it will replace the peaceful villages in North Norwich with a new industrial paradise. Councillor Theresa Gone reassured audience members that the £100 million cost of the road would not go over budget, challenging them to name any large infrastructure projects around the country that had not come in on time and on budget.

At the close of the press conference, which came with much applause from the crowd that had assembled, the coalition members stepped out of character and began distributing leaflets to passers-by and talking with them about the NDR project.

After an hour outside the Forum, we moved locations to the market square, where the press conference was repeated for the bustling Saturday morning shopping crowd.

‘It was fun to watch, and really inspiring to see people communicating such an important message in such a creative way,’ said one of the audience members.

Today’s protest was intended to be a light-hearted way of pointing out some major concerns we and many others have about the proposed NDR. The pitfalls of the project have become so great as to border on the ridiculous, and we thought we could play on this as a fun and unusual way to engage passers by.

See below for the leaflet handed out on the day, which explains both C.R.A.P.’s comically pro-road position and our own concerns about the NDR.

It was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning, and a successful and inspiring first outing for the new Norwich Rising Tide group. Watch this space for more actions against the NDR and other local climate criminals!

Front - C.R.A.P Spoof

Back - NRT Text

Here's a list of the spoof placards that Coalition for Roads And Progress (C.R.A.P) members were brandishing today: -

NDR – an Urban Industrial Paradise
Re-tarmac the Streets
Oil is Good for the Planet!
Escape Flooding … by Car
Wimpey say bring on the NDR
Urban is Joy!
Reward Fat Cats
Who needs Green Space or Peace and Quiet?
Concrete is Freedom
More Concrete, More Pollution
Hoorah for the NDR – Spend more time in your Car
Tescos Loves the NDR
Car Fumes are Cheaper than Cigarettes
More Concrete, Fewer Trees
The NDR – You know it Makes Sense!
More Concrete, Less Greenery
May Gurney has our Best Interests at Heart
Growth is Happiness
Support Your Local Shareholder
Walking is a Waste of Time!