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Norwich is seventh slowest city in UK for motorists - survey shows

PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:45 16 April 2017

Morning rush hour traffic on Colman Road in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Morning rush hour traffic on Colman Road in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2016

Norwich has been named as one of the slowest cities for motorists in the country, with traffic only reaching an average driving speed of just over 16mph.

And council officers behind the multi-million pound changes to roads in the city centre acknowledge that the work to make those improvements is likely to have contributed to Norwich’s spot in seventh place on the slow city list.

The city made the list of the 10 slowest cities, based on data released by vehicle tracking firm Satrak. Cambridge was the slowest city with an average driving speed of 13.73mph.

The data was pulled together from 527,000 vehicles over the course of a year - a year in which work has been happening at dozens of streets in Norwich as part of the Transport for Norwich scheme.

That scheme, which aims to encourage the use of more sustainable forms of transport, while improving the capacity of the road network, includes more than 40 projects.

It has meant roadworks in streets such as Tombland, Golden Ball Street, All Saints Green, Ber Street, Finkelgate and Newmarket Road.

A spokeswoman for Transport for Norwich said of the statistics around average driving speed: “Due to the nature of traffic flow and infrastructure in most UK cities, and taking into account available space in historic places like Norwich, we wouldn’t expect to see high average speeds.

“Norwich has seen significant investment to improve its road network in recent years, the delivery of which is likely to have had an impact on any data collected during this time.

“The changes are designed to maintain movement for all modes of transport, promote transport choice and make more efficient use of the network.”

Norwich City Council is also looking to introduce more 20mph zones around the city, with a blanket limit in the city centre itself.

But one of the country’s largest bus operators believes the changes to the city centre road network - such as banning general traffic from St Stephens Street, has led to more than 350,000 new passenger journeys.

First Eastern Counties said it had seen a half-a-million increase in passenger numbers over the past year, of which 75pc were in Norwich.

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