A scheme costing more than £250,000 to shake up city-centre traffic has been hailed as a way to make cycling in Norwich safer.

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The Norwich highways agency committee voted unanimously to press ahead with plans that will introduce contra-flow lanes for bike riders in Magdalen Street and Cowgate, as part of a wider project to create an eight-mile cycle route.

And vice chairman of the committee, Labour councillor Mike Stonard, insists the £261,000 proposal will provide “significant improvements” for non-motorists.

Mr Stonard said: “I’d like to welcome the scheme. It’s something I’ve had an ambition to do for a long time and has now been made possible by Push The Pedalways funding.

“It’s going to make significant improvements for pedestrians and cyclists and strengthen our aim to make roads safer. We’re looking to increase cycling in the city and we want to double the numbers using bikes over the next 10 years and this should make it easier to cycle. It’s a move I really, really welcome.”

Norwich City Council has set aside £5.5m, made up of £3,7m from the government and £1.8m of local transport and health money, for the Push The Pedalways initiative.

More than a quarter-of-a-million will be spent to ban right turns from Magdalen Street into Bull Close Road; create a southbound cycle lane on Magdalen Street between Bull Close Road and Edward Street and create an advisory westbound cycle lane on Cowgate between Peacock Street and Magdalen Street.

Liberal Democrat county councillor David Harrison said he could not fault the planned work.

Public consultation will now take place and, depending on the outcome of that, work will start early next year.

There were no major objections from the committee, made up of city and county councillors, although Green city councillor Denise Carlo and Labour city councillor Gail Harris were both concerned a signalled crossing will have to be removed as part of the scheme.

They were concerned about how that would affect people trying to get to The Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind in nearby Magpie Road.

But they were reassured by the council’s transportation and network manager Joanne Deverick that a recent survey had shown the crossing was used just 24 times in 24 hours.

She described that as “incredibly low usage” and said there were crossings in nearby streets for people with impaired vision to use.

Contra-flow lanes have already been successfully introduced in Duke Street, Opie Street, St Margaret’s Street, Upper Goat Lane and Pottergate.

• What do you think of the scheme? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

15 comments

  • Albert, if you keep cars from the centre of Norwich, it will die as a trading area. you have to remember, Norwich is a city not some little town, it has to be full of jobs and shops and people, the current public transport system and cycles are not going to be able to maintain the numbers needed to run a city. it need a better intergrated transport system and unfortunately our council have no idea how to make that happen, that's why the city is a mess when it comes to roads. The council did have the chance to back an idea a few years ago which would have gone a long way to create a good intergrated transport system but failed to take it, so we are stuck with backward thinking and it shows. A hugh shame as our city could be so much better for everyone.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Mag Street is an internationally reknown conservation area, the ecology of this street is delicate and should not be disturbed. There are bacteria, organisms and wildlife on these pavements that cannot be allowed to be torn up by this ridiculously expensive white elephant of an idea. The arrogance of cyclists and pedestrians who think they can just railroad through these ideas without a second thought to the conservation of this area and its protected conservation status. There will be banners outside county hall about this.

    Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • So the crossing was used 24 times in 24 hours, how many vehicles turn right into Bull Close Rd in 24 hours? The planners have not given any thought to where these will go have they? I can tell them... They will turn right into Marlborough Road, Beaconsfield Road and Knowsley Rd, then onto Spencer Street, down past Magdalen Gates school entrance and chaos will ensue. Eventually, they will spend hundreds of thousands solving a problem that has been man made. - Just don't bother because the idiot cyclists will not observe any traffic signals or the cycle lane as they know that they are above the law (proved by this decision to alter the law and road layout to stop them committing offences) and will do just whatever they please.

    Report this comment

    IT Man

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • How many potholes would this money repair? It's no good messing about with traffic priorities while the roads are falling to bits. Basic road repairs should come first, it's no good putting cycle lanes in when they fall off their bikes due to roads that are not fit for purpose!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • .....The whole area needs to be pulled down, and remodelled on stilts into 21st Century.....Cycle tracks, mobility scooter tracks, bus lanes, pavements, dog walking areas...all fitted in side by side... from Magdalen Gates to Tombland...and any spare room could be used for cars!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • The cyclists in Norwich are a menace no matter how many paths there are for them, they'll still weave around on the pavements. the police were stopping these idiots on Magdalen street and handing out fines, they should do this more often and stop picking on cars.

    Report this comment

    inactive user

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • I dont mind as long as cyclist use them, im sick of get stuck behind bikes that use the road in sted of the bike lanes provided. I though the only problems with bikes down mag street was most of them were stolen.

    Report this comment

    parked8

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Albert, if you keep cars from the centre of Norwich, it will die as a trading area. you have to remember, Norwich is a city not some little town, it has to be full of jobs and shops and people, the current public transport system and cycles are not going to be able to maintain the numbers needed to run a city. it need a better intergrated transport system and unfortunately our council have no idea how to make that happen, that's why the city is a mess when it comes to roads. The council did have the chance to back an idea a few years ago which would have gone a long way to create a good intergrated transport system but failed to take it, so we are stuck with backward thinking and it shows. A hugh shame as our city could be so much better for everyone.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Albert, if you keep cars from the centre of Norwich, it will die as a trading area. you have to remember, Norwich is a city not some little town, it has to be full of jobs and shops and people, the current public transport system and cycles are not going to be able to maintain the numbers needed to run a city. it need a better intergrated transport system and unfortunately our council have no idea how to make that happen, that's why the city is a mess when it comes to roads. The council did have the chance to back an idea a few years ago which would have gone a long way to create a good intergrated transport system but failed to take it, so we are stuck with backward thinking and it shows. A hugh shame as our city could be so much better for everyone.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Reply to Harry Rabbitonandonawitz - the money for this has come from a different source than the maintenance budgets required to infill potholes, so to answer your question - ZERO potholes would be filled with this money. "No potholes were harmed in the making of this scheme....."

    Report this comment

    Dee

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • How many potholes would this money repair? It's no good messing about with traffic priorities while the roads are falling to bits. Basic road repairs should come first, it's no good putting cycle lanes in when they fall off their bikes due to roads that are not fit for purpose!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Once again money spent on cyclists who pay nothing and flaunt with the law

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • Keep cars out of Central Norwich and achieve safety for Cyclists and pedestrians !

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • More of our money being spent to put right a poorly thought out road scheme, what's the betting on this one going well? No doubt it will create more traffic hold ups and then they'll have to try again and spend more of our money.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • I suppose if I persistently drive up Prince of Wales road , illegally & against the flow of traffic , it will eventually be altered to reflect my flouting of the law?

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

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

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