Controversial proposal to remove traffic lights from Newmarket Road, Christchurch Road and Lime Tree Road junction in Norwich city centre put on ice
Copyright: Archant 2017
A controversial proposal to take away traffic lights from a junction along one of the main roads in and out of Norwich city centre has been put on ice.
The latest phase of a multi-million pound investment in cycling in the city proposes a segregated city-bound one-way cycle lane in Newmarket Road, between the Daniels Road roundabout and the footpath to Hanover Road.
Council bosses say the £800,000 scheme will improve the blue pedalway, which connects Wymondham, Hethersett and Cringleford to the city centre.
MORE: Anger over ‘stupid and dangerous’ bid to remove junction traffic lights on Norwich’s Newmarket Road
But the proposal to take away the traffic lights at the Christchurch Road/Lime Tree Road junction with Newmarket Road has caused controversy.
Council officers want to put a new toucan crossing further to the north-east, which they say will be better for cyclists and reduce traffic queues.
Another toucan crossing would be installed on Newmarket Road at the link with Hanover Road.
However, people living nearby were furious at the prospect of losing the traffic lights and Dr Barbara Goodwin, who lives nearby, presented a petition of almost 400 people to Norwich highways agency committee.
She had said: “There is a very real danger that a stupid and dangerous decision will be taken in relation to these traffic lights.”
And councillors on the committee agreed today to defer a decision on the removal of the lights.
They asked officers to draw up a comprehensive report and look at alternative options, as part of the bigger plan to revamp Daniels Road roundabout.
Committee chairman Tony Adams said if officers did still favour the removal of the traffic lights, they would have to demonstrate “a robust argument for how that would work safely”.
Norwich Cycling Campaign is supportive of the new cycle lane, but the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind has raised concerns, including that the removal of the traffic lights would make it harder and more dangerous to cross.
The committee did agree the rest of the scheme.
That includes a segregated one-way cycle lane on the northern side of Newmarket Road, between the Daniels Road roundabout and the link to Hanover Road.
And it will also see the footpath on the southern side of Newmarket Road converted into a shared footpath/cycleway from the Hanover Road link to Line Tree Road.