Is Norwich city centre set to be a blanket 20mph zone?

A map showing the possible 20mph limits in Norwich. A map showing the possible 20mph limits in Norwich.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
9:07 AM

Norwich city centre could become a 20mph zone if council proposals go ahead.

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The plan to introduce lower speed limits on all roads inside the inner ring road would create a safe zone for cyclists, expanding the ‘Pink Pedalway’ already in place.

A report to the Norwich highways agency committee said: “Walking and cycling is predominant in the city centre and these modes of transport are given priority over other road users.

“Regrettably personal injury accidents to pedestrians and cyclists have risen in the city centre recently and it is essential to combat this trend.”

As part of the plans, traffic calming measures would be introduced on a number of roads, including Rouen Road, Ber Street and George Borrow Road.

Small speed humps and landscaping to narrow the roads are among the options being considered.

Jeff Jordan of Norwich Cycling Campaign said the group was pleased to hear about the proposals.

He said: “We very much welcome the proposed reduction in speed limit.

“It is something that has been a policy of our campaign for several years.

“It makes it so much safer for not just cyclists, but drivers too.”

The proposals come as part of Push the Pedalways, a £5.7m programme of improvements to the Norwich cycle network and cites improving safety as their main motivation.

The report said: “Cycling is a healthy and sustainable form of transport but many peopl eare put off my safety concerns.

“We have gathered 500 responses to our online cycling survey over the last few months.

Of the 160 respondents who answered the question ‘what stops you from cycling regularly?’ the most common answer, given by 53%, was ‘I don’t feel safe’.”

The council aims to begin consultation on the proposal in the autumn, with the first set of consultations for The Avenues held in September.

What do you think of the proposals? Write to EDP letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPletters@archant.co.uk giving your full name, address and contact details.

32 comments

  • Threads like this are getting more and more frequent and just make me so sad. It indicates what is so wrong with Norwich and why the roads here are so dangerous. Every road user, whether motorist, cyclist or pedestrian are arrogant individuals who blame every other group of users for the problems. Motorists blame cyclists. Cyclists blame motorists and everyone blames pedestrians. And whilst this goes on, nothing will ever improve because no-one accepts responsibility for their own actions. I've lived, driven and cycled all over the world, in big cities and in the country. Norwich is the place I feel most scared in, regardless of mode of transport. I decided to count the number of motorists using mobiles whilst driving on Friday. I lost count after 20. TWENTY! Five of them had children in the car. I cycle every day in the city as well as drive. I see cyclists jumping red lights and mounting pavements every single day. I see motorists acting like idiots. And pedestrians just walk out in front of me in the city, arrogantly knowing I have to stop. In Norwich red lights and pedestrian crossing are merely advisory. Until everyone stops blaming each other, and accepts that we are all road users, and actually show respect for each other regardless of mode of transport, whatever the planners do is doomed to fail. I've lived here nearly ten years now and the mentality of Norwich residents means we will never have harmony on our roads. Every man for himself is the mantra. It's very very sad.

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    norwichred

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • @gravedigger - what an appropriate name, with all the lycralouts round here - surprised you had time to comment! Before anyone complains - perhaps they can explain why? I am having a go at a group of people, not any individual - still, if this isn't censored!

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    biglingers

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • @Honest Injun - whats that got to do with protecting cyclists and pedestrians? Are you applying some kind of collective responsibility where the actions of one or some negate the needs of the many? Only an idiot would be so ignorant (and assuming you're a motorists somewhat hypocritical) @Andy T. I agree. A number of times ive witnessed bus drivers use their horn to hurry people across the changing lights. Shame they forget the pedestrian has total right of way at crossings.

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    monkeynuts

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • What a good ideaa I thought, till I was bought crashing back to earth - another of the never ending 'sops' to cyclists - should have guessed! By the way, my road has a 20mph speedlimit and we often play 'spot the driver doing 20', lucky if you spot one (even buses!)

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    biglingers

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • How about enforcing the current speed limits around the city before setting more challenging ones. Speed humps, Speed reduction tables, Flashing signs certainly aren’t making any difference at all to the roads where they have been introduced. That’s where the roads or council funding is being wasted time and time again. Regards, from a motorist, cyclist and pedestrian.

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    TG

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Labour run council are killing the city !!! Just remember at the next elections

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    Norwich

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Aah yes, must protect the cyclists - especially the one who came straight across the red light in front of my bumper at the Chapelfield roundabout a few weeks back and stuck two fingers up at me when I sounded my horn as I braked hard to avoid him. I wonder if it was the same one who went through a red light on Chapelfield this afternoon? The council seem determined to drive motorists out of the city centre, but regretfully they are so commercially naieve that they can't see that by dreaming up these schemes they'll send shoppers elsewhere to shopping centres that are more car friendly and commercially astute. They won't have a top ten shopping environment for much longer if they keep pandering to cyclists. They won't make major shopping purchases to take home on their crossbars!!

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    Honest Injun

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • While they are at it, they should think about making all housing Estates 20mph, l live in Tuckswood, and the way some of these idiots drive through the Estate is going to cause a bad accident soon, Tuckswood Lane and Robin Hood Road to mention a couple. The kids are on holiday for the next 6 weeks, wouldn't surprise me if we hear of something happening on one or two of the Estates caused through speeding.

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    gravedigger

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • I could predict the responses to this story when I read the headline ;) The "I pay my VED and fuel duty so I should be able to drive anywhere, as fast as I like because I'm an excellent driver" brigade were out early. The thing is, counter-intuitively, traffic flows improve in urban environments when vehicles slow down - why? Because vehicles can filter out from side roads more easily when they feel safe to do so. The faster the traffic stream the slower people leave uncontrolled junctions - so the bigger the tailbacks. But the thing is speed restrictions are pointless if they are only barely enforced. Actually I think they then become counter productive because they just irritate the idiots, who then drive even more moronically.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • @monkeynuts. Not sure if you've ever stood outside M&S or Debenhams and watched the busses interact with pedestrians! If their light is green they just motor through. Not slowing and with hand on horn. They are a bullying menace.

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    Andy T

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • I'm right behind this idea, and if as Daisy Roots says wiping out the on street parking privileges to make way for cycle lanes devalues a few thousand overpriced Norwich houses then that's an added bonus in my book.

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    expat

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • This is a good idea, and like it or not towns and cities nation wide are getting onboard with this. The thing is, because of the amount of traffic, traffic lights, obstructions on the road the average speed is probably around 17-20mph anyway. Lowering the speed limit wont in any meaningful way effect peoples journey times. It will though stop the mass speedup to 30mph and quickly slowing down (and waiting at lights for 2 minutes) that we have now. The lowering of the speed will benefit everyone, less speed not only means people will be less likely to be seriously hurt by cars, it also means motorists have more time to react.

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    monkeynuts

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • @Andy T - For the most part its cars. Bus drivers as a group are very good at overtaking and interacting with cyclists and pedestrians, they are also checked for speeding which motorists are not. As an estimation maybe 10% of motorists do not overtake cyclists correctly. Busses never had a problem with.

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    monkeynuts

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Of the 160 respondents who answered the question ‘what stops you from cycling regularly?’ the most common answer, given by 53%, was ‘I don’t feel safe’.” Feel safe from what? Busses? Their own ability? Pedestrians? Why do they assume cars are to blame?

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    Andy T

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Most incidents of mugging or indecent exposure are carried out by cyclists.

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    mr mayhem

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • I welcome traffic calming measures in Duke Street, where cars often drive too fast leading to accidents like the recent crash into the Golden Star. However, whether a general 20 mph speed limit is desirable or not within the city centre, is it enforceable? Brighton already has widespread 20 mph speed limits and they are widely ignored because no one enforces them. It makes a mockery of speed limits in general so why bother with a scheme like this in Norwich.

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    Rich Hartt

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Since I usually use p&r or drive to the car park off Magdalen Street and walk this would not affect me much. But I would like to see more provision made for cyclists. When I am in Cambridge it is noticeable how many people of all ages, not just students, cycle to work and to shop and just to get about. There is better provision made for them and money is actually spent on dedicated cycle routes away from traffic. When I look at villages and suburbs near where I live and see massive grass verges needing cutting and stupid lumps of concrete and tarmac jutting out into roads to " protect" very minor junctions I am baffled why the district and county councils have not tried harder to use that space for cycle paths.Especially near schools where around 1000 pupils of all ages will be travelling to school everyday. The single bus fare around here for a roughly three mile journey is £2.50.Parking is 70p an hour. It is no wonder people want to cycle.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Wonder how policefireambulance will cope with that?.... especialy as previously written we will all be either crawling or stopstart traffic. when cyclists adhere to the rules of the roads then will motorists......

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    FredJ

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Another stupid idea, by the brain dead morons that are supposed to be increasing the prosperity of the city – not driving a further nail into its economic coffin!

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    Norfolk John

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • It's a bit of a mystery to me as to how a cyclist can carry all hishersothers shopping back home when my car boot is loaded !?

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    Stop Press

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Daisey and others have got this spot on. In reality this is yet another excuse to install more traffic humps and narrowing of the roads, all of which makes things worse for all of us including cyclists. You only have to look at the ring road to see the impact of narrowing of roads which brings cyclists and cars closer together which is dangerous. No doubt this means cyclists take to the paths even more than they do now - not right but one can understand if they are being encouraged to do so. The whole ethos of the road planners seems to be anti vehicles to force everyone on to the woeful public transport. How about filling in pot holes and widening roads instead? Stop narrowing roads, making ever more complex junctions and wasting tax payers money!

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    andy

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • I have no problem with a 20mph limit within the inner ring road. There are no real reasons for needing to go faster than that in that particular area and, during the day at least, it's very difficult to even reach 20mph, so it won't make much difference. What would make a difference is if drivers and cyclists brushed up on their highway code. When a car comes up behind a cyclist, moving to the left of the lane, creeping up to within an inch of the bike's rear wheel, then swinging wildly to the other side of the road while beeping the horn, is really not the way to do it. Nor is forcing your way past the cyclist by pushing them into the gutter. Equally, cyclists should be aware of the danger they put themselves into by cycling up the inside of vehicles without checking for left-hand indicators being lit, and that swapping between path and road on a whim without checking for traffic first is likely to be fraught with peril. The main problem you get within the inner ring road is not so much the cars and the cyclist, but more the bus drivers who use the size of their vehicles to try and intimidate other road users and do whatever they want to do.

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Wow, last time I drove through the city, I averaged about 5 MPH so 20 MPH will be a great improvement. If cyclists feel that they can squeeze through a 2ft gap when stationery, why would a motorist give them more space than that at any other time?

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    IT Man

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Elections next year, you all know what to do

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    Derek McDonald

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • The pandering to cyclists in what's left of this city is now going beyond a joke.

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    mr mayhem

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Disgusted-well yes, there are some very fine lycra clad gents who cycle round here and one would not need to overtake them in a 20 mph limit. Indeed going downhill especially they can't be overtaken in a 30 mph limit !

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • "Disgusted of Norwich South" - no it won't - speed limits are pretty much the only rule that doesn't apply to cyclists. I see just as many drivers jump lights as cyclists - it's not acceptable for either, nor is using your phone, as a large minority of drivers do.

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    icehockeyhair

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • On-line shopping, closure of city centre highways, now a 20 m.p.h. limit. This now signals the end of the city centre as a destination, especially for shopping. The idiots that make up the City Council seem to think that we are all here to do their bidding and that we must use Norwich for business and that we will travel by whatever means they dictate to us. Sorry, we will desert the City and go elsewhere. What a hollow victory, with curtailed business, reduced income and power. Too late then to back track and to get the City vibrant again.

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    broadsman

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Will this apply to cyclists as well? Other rules of the road appear not to.

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    Disgusted of Norwich South

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Another brain dead thought from the City Council. Why not ban cars all together and done with it. Then see what happens to the City

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    Derek McDonald

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • I find it difficult to understand why or how a 20mph limit would improve anything, there would be far more slow and stationary traffic, and far more emissions. I'm not sure how either of those will help anyone. Yet another ill conceived idea with probably good intensions but which fails on may levels.

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    parkeg1

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Some days I feel as if the whole country is run by morons now. I have just driven into town and back and passed a number of cyclists and I think-as a cyclist and a motorist ( and since I still have two legs, a pedestrian) that the problem in urban areas is not so much speed as space. Driving up a road with parked cars on either side , lots of on coming traffic and a cyclist-perfectly legally but sedately pedaling along- leaves the motorist with the knowledge that the cyclist must be given plenty of room when over taken but that queues are building up behind. By all means slap on a 20mph in the city centre( I personally find it tricky to keep under 20 unless in a really low gear and wonder what this will do to traffic emissions) but until there is more room for cyclists they will not be or feel any safer. Do you say to the residents of the many homes in urban areas which have on street parking that the privilege will be withdrawn to make room for a relatively few cyclists ( Ely did it for traffic flow reasons and instantly devalued a whole lot of properties) or do you take all but residents cars , buses and deliveries off the streets? Speed is not the sole problem.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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