Graphic: Norwich city centre traffic shake-up - what does it mean for you?

Cars on St Stephens Street in Norwich are set to be banned. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY Cars on St Stephens Street in Norwich are set to be banned. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
10:11 AM

Drivers in Norwich should brace themselves for some of the biggest changes in the way they get around the city in decades, with work on the controversial shake-up due to start within months.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Norwich City Council traffic plans for Chapelfield and St StephensNorwich City Council traffic plans for Chapelfield and St Stephens

The £1.45m changes will see three major projects: cars banned from St Stephens Street and part of Surrey Street, buses travelling both ways in and out of the city via Chapel Field North and a new bus lane in Grapes Hill.

Council officers have trumpeted the ‘Transport for Norwich’ scheme as a way to ease congestion in the centre of Norwich.

The work will start within months, after campaigners failed in a High Court challenge to convince a judge the decision to press ahead with part of the scheme was illegal.

David Harrison, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment, transport, development and waste, said: “This is excellent news and means that we will be able to crack on with these important projects that will change Norwich city centre for the better.

“Not only will these changes cut bus journey times and improve reliability, but the removal of general traffic from city streets will help secure Norwich’s place as one of the country’s top retail destinations.”

As well as banning cars from St Stephens Street, all traffic, except buses, will be removed from Rampant Horse Street between Marks and Spencer and Debenhams by creating a bus gate on Rampant Horse Street. Traffic will also be stopped from crossing into Ramant Horse Street from Westlegate.

Chapel Field North will be widened for two-way traffic by removing the pavement on the Chapelfield Gardens side, with a new path created in the park.

Council officers say traffic would not be able to get into the city centre through Chapel Field North, because of the bus gate in Rampant Horse Street.

Little Bethel Street would also be shut to vehicles, with Cleveland Road and Bethel Street becoming two-way because of changes at Grapes Hill roundabout.

The Chapel Field Action Group had hoped to secure a judicial review of the decision to make Chapel Field North two-way, saying the noise and vibration of an endless flow of heavy traffic would threaten the foundations and fabric of some of the most attractive and historically important homes in the city.

But judge Elizabeth Cooke rejected all their arguments, including that the councils had failed in their European law obligation to carry out full ‘screening’ investigations as to the potential environmental impact of the proposals; that the councils should have considered the ‘cumulative impact’ of the schemes and that the council had only carried out a ‘generic analysis’ of the threat to the fabric of the buildings.

Jane Ross, on behalf of the Chapel Field Action Group, said they were disappointed and would continue to seek legal advice.

She said: “We feel that the proposed traffic scheme will have a huge impact on the houses, where many are listed, from noise, air pollution and vibration because of the greatly increased number of buses and HGVs.

“The number of buses passing the gardens will increase from approximately 250 to 630 buses in a two way flow between 7am and 7pm. All HGVs supplying the city centre and the Chapelfield mall will also use this narrow road.”

A county council spokesman said the judge’s decision meant work can now get underway, with work on Grapes Hill earmarked for an April start date, followed by Chapel Field North and St Stephens.

He said they hoped to get as much work as possible done this year, and are particularly to get work done before the run-up to Christmas.

• What’s your view on the traffic shake-up? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

53 comments

  • People are not using the buses as they are so expensive, only students and pensioners tend to use the buses. £2:50 each way from Thorpe is expensive, service unreliable and virtually non existent after 5pm. Cheaper and more convenient to drive. Only for cinema, meals and nights out. Avoid the city for shopping, online is easier and cheaper.

    Report this comment

    Adam L

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • orwell, Edinburgh? Perhaps you can enlighten me - I must have missed it when I was there in 2013! They're more obsessed with their trams! Anyway, out of town shopping for me in future - you get treated better.

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • I have to work in Norwich and can't afford the ridiculous parking so have to use the buses which are pathetic - dirty, expensive, unreliable and uncomfortable. If I didn't have to work in town I would never use public transport out of choice. No one would. By making Norwich less and less car friendly, you'll just force shoppers to the outskirts and online. This ill thought out traffic scheme will not instigate a bus revolution until we have a decent bus infrastructure....and don't even get me started on the state of the bus station......

    Report this comment

    Fluffy Cat

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • A bus lane on Grapes Hill? Absolutely mental. The whole inner ring road will grind to a halt as soon as rush hour hits. If the council think this will encourage more bus users they are sorely mistaken...the bus service is far too expensive and unreliable - that's what needs sorting out. The easiest way to improve traffic around the city? Instead of schools running from 9am-3pm, make it 10am to 4pm...then all the traffic from mums running their kids half a mile down the road will no longer coincide with those who HAVE to drive to be able to earn a living. As usual though, the workers are the ones to suffer.

    Report this comment

    Alan Watling

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Regarding all the negativity here, its worth remembering this approach has been done in many cities world wide, and is something cities are keen to follow. For those interested look up 'livable cities'. And while the initial thought is that people will stop visiting the reality of often very different. What tends to happen is more people visit as the overall feel of the city changes, it becomes friendlier, cleaner and safer. That said, there is reasons to be concerned. Public transport is too expensive, and taking a family of 4 into the via bus could cost close to £20.

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • You just wait until the city is invaded with all those geriatric cyclists making a nuisance of themselves as they push their pedals from Salhouse Road to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. via the City Centre.... Cost for this new 'Pink Pedalway' is a mere £5.5m...This is to bring benefit to about 53,000 people who currently live within 800mm of this pedalway. ...and another 6 similar schemes are in the pipeline....Just a shame some of this cash couldn't have found it's way into completing the NDR.

    Report this comment

    Joe Rome

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • I would like to have seen a service going down St Giles Street, a long St Peters Street with a stop for the Market, then up Little Bethal Street and down Theatre Street, this would enable people to get into Market and other area's

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • This is the most ill thought scheme I've ever heard of. It will make traffic in the city a nightmare. All the more reason to shop online. Shame we can't all work at home too. Instead we have to sit in traffic jams due to this nonsense.

    Report this comment

    DT

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • It's a shame to see our city being ruined by the very people who are meant to look after it. The idea that buses are a prioiry for our city is foolish and out of date, most of the congesion is caused by them and the poor routing of the only public transport service which is to expensive to use. What we will end up with is a dead city with a few buses running around empty, The traffic is caused by the council and their will to make life difficult and reduce choice for the city workers and visitors. The council have made up thier mind and it will happen just the same as all the other crack pot ideas they come up with. Humps in the roads over 100mm which the max as stated in the road traffic act which is ignored by our council, 20 MPh speed limits other than near schools and traffic lights where none are needed timed to stop traffic rather than allowing it to flow, and they call that a service and expect to be paid for it. Failure after failure has caused traffic issues for decades and they just want to blame car drivers rather than their poor traffic management.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • To getalife. Guess what. No ones stopping you riding a bike. If parking or somehow not getting away with speeding upsets you don't do it. As for cyclists, plans such as this are little concern to the cyclists who currently cycle.. For the most part they will continue to ride with traffic. The point of plans such as this is to get new, less confident people out of their cars, free up space and lower costs for everyone. That includes you if you wish.

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • To getalife. Guess what. No ones stopping you riding a bike. If parking or somehow not getting away with speeding upsets you don't do it. As for cyclists, plans such as this are little concern to the cyclists who currently cycle.. For the most part they will continue to ride with traffic. The point of plans such as this is to get new, less confident people out of their cars, free up space and lower costs for everyone. That includes you if you wish.

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Too many Buses Too many Cars,not enough people living in the city area ! but put out to suburban utopia !

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • As someone who does not use public transport as its so expensive these days, I think this a utter stupid and we definitely drive people away from the city.... I for one will be saying goodbye Norwich, Hello online shopping....

    Report this comment

    Screech

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • and So_Many_Haters! - no need to pay £21, use park & ride, car including up to 5 adults and 4 children is £4.20. One adult and up to 4 children is £2.40. What's your excuse now?

    Report this comment

    Only Me

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • This is the most ill thought scheme I've ever heard of. It will make traffic in the city a nightmare. All the more reason to shop online. Shame we can't all work at home too. Instead we have to sit in traffic jams due to this nonsense.

    Report this comment

    DT

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • These proposals will not change my behaviour, only rarely bring car into city, too expensive compared with Park and Ride. If I come in on my own I generally use a bicycle. Only excuse to use car is for a late night or to fetch stuff from John Lewis' collection point.

    Report this comment

    George Ezekial

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Why would anyone use the park and ride when you can park in the city all day for £3.90 and you don't have all the hassle of waiting for buses and going to and from bus park.

    Report this comment

    Unemployed and Luvin it.

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • This is excellent news is it David Harrison? Norwich is a nightmare to negotiate as it is for local drivers with the council working hard to cause congestion wherever possible. As for taking up to 2 minutes off bus journeys by making Chapelfield North two way simply does not make sense. Best way to get people to use buses is to make fares cheaper - it costs me more to take the bus than it does to drive and park in the city for 3 hours. Guess what I do when I have to go to the city. I try to avoid shopping there if possible.

    Report this comment

    Drayton Resident

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • The majority of cars I see have only one person in - this is stupid - especially in peak times like Christmas period when traffic is at a standstill and buses which normally only take 5-10 minutes into the city are half an hour late due to being held up by queues of cars. Surely, it makes economic sense for these people not to have to pay high prices for parking then worry about exceeding the time paid for when queuing to pay for goods in shops. If a bus is caught it costs the same regardless of how long you have been shopping!

    Report this comment

    Lynda Edwards

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Why is it that traffic improvement schemes, in any city or town - including Norwich, basically means banning cars from a given number of streets? Why not think of the bigger picture and integrating all forms of transport in a rational manner?

    Report this comment

    NigelS

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • About time! Ban all cars within the inner ring road. Lazy motorists should use the buses. That's what they're there for and there's plenty of them. No idea why anybody would be stupid enough to drive into Norwich city centre these days.

    Report this comment

    Scania

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Abraham: I'm often in Leeds and my experience is that Norwich car parks are around £2-3 for 2 hours, Leeds are around £4-7, especially if you want to be near Briggate. Obviously I'm prepared to pay more in Leeds. There will always be traffic problems in any city, but Norwich is different from Leeds or Shanghai in that anywhere in the city centre is reachable within walking or cycling distance, so you're mad if you think you can't get around. For all those who complain about driving in Norwich, I'm just adding my voice to those few who think it's not all that bad. I feel Norwich could do a lot better with buses, though. A FirstDay ticket in Norwich is £4.80, in Leeds it's £3.90 and covers a much larger area. I don't understand why a smaller city is paying more for buses.

    Report this comment

    Lee Seaman

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • Nuts!!!! ill thought of doesn't even BEGINN to cover it....

    Report this comment

    FredJ

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Why can't the council leave anything alone? they can't maintain the roads we have got,but can always find money for crazy traffic schemes! As long as they have the attitude that buses are all good and motorists must be fined and restricted,chaos will always ensue! The complete insanity of a 24 hour bus lane on the Newmarket road is a perfect example of this! Best avoid the city like the plague and shop online,if this scatterbrained plan comes to pass,expect to see more empty city centre shops,and of course we all know who to blame for this!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • I rarely come into Norwich for shopping now because of the fiasco created by blocking off carriageways so that it is bustaxi only route. The stupid amount of traffic lights installed on a single street. P of W road for example and the extortionate parking charges. I'd much rather go to our more rural towns, out of town shopping areas like Longwater or shop on the internet. This will be the Fall of Norwich as we know it.

    Report this comment

    muttley

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Anyone who thinks Norwich is a nightmare for drivers should try one of the bigger cities like Leeds. Norwich is tiny. Any rush hour or road works queues are a breeze compared to other cities. Parking in Norwich is also cheap compared to other cities, so stop complaining and start counting yourself lucky! What IS a nightmare is our bus service. Having tried buses for a year, waiting up to 4 hours for a bus from the centre made it impossible. Buses are expensive, but I would pay if they were reliable, frequent and if some of the more miserable drivers realised how lucky they were to be in employment! There aren't enough buses using the 24hr bus lane along Dereham Road. Instead, I'd like to see a combined bus and 2+ lane to encourage car sharing. Although I'm happy to see cars banned from St. Stephens, I often see cars still driving down Castle Meadow... It's interesting that instead of more one-way systems, they are opening up some of those one-way roads to two-way traffic. It's a shame the bus service can't be made reliable before making such changes to the roads, but as a driver myself it'll be good to see less cars in the city. Norwich is only small, I'm happy to park at the edge of the city and walk in. Some of the more impatient drivers should do the same!

    Report this comment

    Lee Seaman

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Car drivers pay a huge cost to run a car and it seems now that alongside this the stupid do gooders on the council want to make that cost even more harder by dictating where we can drive! In the meantime they are happy using funds derived from drivers i;e parking, speed traps etc to fund the roads for the comfort of cyclists? Also I am deeply concerned that this will be confusing for our aged driving population who will probably still attempt to drive on these roads. Until compulsory re-testing is introduced making the roads more complicated is not a good idea.

    Report this comment

    getalife

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • The city streets are already awash with dangerous cyclists, this will make the streets even worse with these vermin riding on pavements because there are no roads left, the Romans built a lot of our roads, surely taking them away is either a big step backwards or just outright persecution of the car owner.

    Report this comment

    inactive user

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Well how do we get to castle mall now on second thoughts Norwich don't bother to much hustle I will go elsewhere

    Report this comment

    townie

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • The tiny graphic is ill thought of, make it bigger! I really dont think its going to drive people away from the city, get a grip on reality please. Just another excuse to moan about the council. I work in the city centre and it only takes about 10-15 mins driving most days, hardly a problem, considering the amount of traffic on Cromer Road. As for buses, they arent that expensive, when I do use them theres a Sanders bus which stops outside my house and it only costs £2 to go into the city centre. Oh no, this will break my bank account.

    Report this comment

    Piranha24

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • At Joe Rome. 'Cyclists making a nuisance of themselves' won't it be great? People leaving their cars at home and partaking in a clean, healthy, cheap mode of transport that kills or hurts a fraction of what cars do while you and everyones car is stuck in rush hour traffic. I'm looking forward to it. Mind you, if you encourage people to cycle, that might free up space on the roads for people like yourself....who knows, maybe children might feel they can cycle to school again without being killed by impatient, careless drivers.

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • What is needed is clearly marked routes for cars into the city directing them to suitable car parks then they wouldn't need to drive round looking for somewhere to park. There were never any problems in the old days before they brought in one way systems.

    Report this comment

    gerry mitson

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • I have studied these plans and ideas. I have to say they are OK and can't find fault with them. Grapes Hill needs sorting, which this will hopefully solve the constant delays. Something should however be done about lorries having to climb Wellington Lane and turning left on to Pottergate. That is a sight to behold! As for Chapelfield North, it used to be 2 way a long time ago. Perhaps making it 2 way will make it much safer than it currently is. I would like to see traffic being able to approach Chapelfield Car Park from both directions on Chapelfield Road. Also prevent the illegal left turn into the said carpark that some drivers do from Chapelfield East. It's utter bonkers that there is no left turn from St Stephens on to RHS. The bus station is simply not fit for purpose. It is not large enough and I can not figure out what the design is about. Too many islands and roads to cross. Don't get me started about the customer service desk in the station. Surely a bus station in the city should be designed for all the services. There should be a plan to ban buses from Castle Meadow and SS. Is a bus gate one of those things that is operated automatically? Be interesting to see how that works. Certainly doing nothing is not going to improve the city.

    Report this comment

    fjq11

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • Scania - the lazy motorists should get on the bus? If I want to bring my family into the city it'll cost me £21. Why should I pay that for a couple of hours shopping? More people would use the buses if the cost was reasonable, but it's not. All this will do is cause more traffic delays on the inner ring as people want to get between the North and South of the city, but can't go through. Instead of being delayed in the city centre by double-parking buses, the traffic (including buses) will be delayed elsewhere. Then the city council will come up with some new wheeze to sort the problem that they created, all the while blaming motorists.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • About time - this will do for St Stephens what pedestrianisation did to Gentlemans Walk, which is now busy, vibrant and (chuggers aside) a pleasure to walk down. The car-obsessed moaning minnies on here will be proved wrong yet again - and if they choose not to come into the centre any more - good riddance, there will be plenty more to replace them.

    Report this comment

    Only Me

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Lets get the Buses Sorted! Across the County not just the City. Reepham is 12 miles from Norwich 35 minutes in a car an our by bus 4 times a day and only if you work 9-5 and don't go out in the evening!!!

    Report this comment

    Ron Luton-Brown

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • These council people are nuts, if they think this will help the city. They have no idea of how to manage the city traffic and have proved that over the year with countless hopeless changes. The obvious things are we have to many buses travelling through the city on roads which are not suitable. No bus needs to travel down or up St Stephens if the bus station was used properly, no bus needs to travel along Castle Meadow if they move the route and serve the city better, but the council will blame all the wrongs on the cars and just move the problem which is what causes the congestion in the first place. GET RID OF THE BUSES FROM OUR CITY. they smell they cause road damage and are noisy. The buses company and council need to sit down and sort the route out before they kill this city. There rant over, not that it will make any difference, the council have decided and that's what will happen, we don't get a say and if we do they don't listen. We don't matter, which is why I'm moving out to an area better run.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • As a person who does not use public transport as its so expensive, I think this is utter stupid and we definitely drive business away from Norwich, I for one will be seeing Goodbye Norwich, Hello online shopping

    Report this comment

    Screech

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Only Me: Drive 5 miles away from the city to the park & ride to then get a bus back into the city, doubling the journey time? That really makes sense! Hardly "green" is it, driving to catch a bus when there's a bus stop just 50 yards away? I stand by my statement - more people would use the bus if it was reasonable. Make it £1 per trip, any distance. You'd soon find the buses full.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Larger HD map would help.

    Report this comment

    Euro

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • I welcome this news! I waited too long to cross St Stephens in order to catch a bus in Theatre Street this afternoon! The buses are slow due to the hold-ups in the city centre - which should be resolved by this plan. Chapel Field North has been awful for some time - how can residents and businesses along there put up with the pollution belching out from all those cars queuing for the Grapes Hill Roundabout? As for elderly drivers who live in the city - most of the major roads have buses going along - they are free for those of us of a certain age - and stop nearer the shops than some car parks are! I prefer to go home by bus as it costs no more (if you have to pay) if you have taken longer to shop than anticipated! Bring on this scheme!

    Report this comment

    Lynda Edwards

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • The buses are okay if you are a pensioner and if it wasn't for them, most services wouldn't exist as they are damned expensive, uncomfortable and often filthy and unpleasant. Unless the buses are upgraded to something clean and decent why would one bother to use them?

    Report this comment

    Unemployed and Luvin it.

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • I think the exact opposite. Something certainly needed to be done regarding the existing nightmare of St Stephen's. Anything that might discourage car users and convert them to bus users seems a good start for me. Granted, that it might only succeed in pushing traffic onto surrounding streets, but without trying how could we know?

    Report this comment

    Dennis Kemp

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Why can't the council leave anything alone? they can't maintain the roads we have got,but can always find money for crazy traffic schemes! As long as they have the attitude that buses are all good and motorists must be fined and restricted,chaos will always ensue! The complete insanity of a 24 hour bus lane on the Newmarket road is a perfect example of this! Best avoid the city like the plague and shop online,if this scatterbrained plan comes to pass,expect to see more empty city centre shops,and of course we all know who to blame for this!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Let's hope that a few years down the line those who are complaining here will realise that most cities have done this years ago. Try visiting York or Edinburgh or even Liverpool.

    Report this comment

    orwell

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • R.I.P. Norwich City Centre as you push the drivers out. Obviously haven't been up St Stephens where the traffic issue is the busses! Closing Rampart Horse Street just means driving further around which is hardly green.

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Looking at the map I can see many roads for general traffic as single points of failure. As for using the bus I did do until the latest changers to the timetable... as good as no service in the Evening of which the First bus quoted as minor changers but on my route more that 60% less service than before and even then had to pay more.... The comment of St Stephens becoming another Gentlemen's Walk a walking street it will be more castle meadow another place full of broken down buses....

    Report this comment

    Jon White

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Well said Andy T, but you don't realise - BUSES RULE O.K! and while we've got the current councils - we have to fight!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • It's those dirty stink polluting buses that are the main problem.

    Report this comment

    Unemployed and Luvin it.

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Lee Seaman, Of course bigger Cities have more traffic, but that is meaningless to people living in the Norwich area. We still have to get around. If we use your point we must tell people in Leeds or Bristol or Manchester to stop complaining because bigger Cities such as New York , Shanghai etc have much worse traffic problems. Neither is Norwich cheap to park. I have worked regularly in Leeds, Nottingham, Sheffield etc and cant recall it costing more to park in those Cities.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • Buses are too expensive and full of litter and sticky seats. The last time I used a bus, the driver drove straight past a bus stop after a passenger rang the bell but then picked up a man who 'thumbed' a lift *between* stops! The man then refused to pay for a ticket and after the driver gave in and let him on anyway, he proceeded to intimidate each passenger for their ticket so he could then claim the money back on them (which he explained to all profusely)! Along with no CCTV on these buses, no wonder people feel safer using their cars. Some operators are better and cleaner but still overpriced

    Report this comment

    adriandilly

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • There are still too many cars in the city, We should have a congestion charge to keep them and their small minded drivers (as evidenced on every article here) out. £5 to drive in for the day, + car park fees. they can go cry in industrial parks all they want, and let the rest of us make progress.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Sorry..one 'm' too many!

    Report this comment

    Joe Rome

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT