Norwich station crossing is a danger, say pedestrian groups

Campaigners for improvements in the pedestrian crossings at Norwich railway station. Photo: Bill Smith Campaigners for improvements in the pedestrian crossings at Norwich railway station. Photo: Bill Smith

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
6:30 AM

Pedestrian and transport groups took to the streets yesterday to highlight problems at what they call one of Norwich’s most dangerous junctions.

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The four-way crossing near Norwich Station where Riverside Road intersects with Thorpe Road and Prince of Wales Road is one of the city’s busiest, especially during rush-hour periods.

But short traffic light timings mean that impatient pedestrians end up crossing between moving traffic, while those with mobility problems struggle to beat the lights.

That’s according to members of the Norwich and Norfolk Traffic Action Group (NNTAG) and pedestrian organisation Living Streets, who were on the streets to raise awareness with Green city councillors yesterday.

John Peacock, Living Streets chairman, said the junction was symptomatic of a culture which favoured vehicles over pedestrians.

“We’ve got this outdated idea that cars are on an important mission but people on foot are not,” he said.

“It’s a very complex and dangerous junction for pedestrians, and has long been a hazardous area for cars.”

John Woods, a member of NNTAG, said the green light signal to cross Riverside Road towards the station was just nine seconds long, with a full traffic light cycle taking two minutes.

He added the light phasing meant people were often left standing on the narrow traffic island on Riverside Road as cars flowed by.

Jo Henderson, Green city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, said that the crowding could lead to a serious accident.

“If someone was in a hurry for a train, and you are not in a car, you may well be risking your life,” she said.

Dick Catt, treasurer of the Norwich Access Group, said people in wheelchairs were especially vulnerable to be left stranded in the road because of the quick-changing lights.

“It’s not so bad for people in motorised scooters, but those in wheelchairs don’t have the same acceleration.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said the council was open to re-examining the traffic light timings to see if they could be improved, adding that other crossings were available if those closest to the station were overcrowded.

1 comment

  • Even as an agile pedestrian I find this crossing point dangerous as it is never obvious where the next traffic flow is coming from. There are so many signal phases that pedestrians are left waiting for ages and then have to wait again on the next branch of the junction. Only an all-red [to traffic] phase for at least forty seconds would make it safe, plus possibly the installation of a diagonal crossing as is increasingly found in London. The unofficial cross-over from the station frontage towards Riverside is also a serious hazard for pedestrians with poor visibility, accelerating traffic, and no indication of priorities. I would echo John Peacock's comments.

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    JCW

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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