Roadworks to add a £920,000 bus lane into a busy city street are expected to start next April.

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Norwich city and Norfolk county councillors unanimously backed proposals to widen Grapes Hill, in Norwich, today in an attempt to help buses travel faster southbound toward the Chapel Field Road roundabout.

Two lanes for general traffic will be retained but these will be narrowed in width from 3.75 metres to three metres to allow the bus lane to be added.

Mervyn Scutter, Norwich Eaton county councillor, told today’s Norwich Highways Agency committee meeting: “I am still a little bit concerned about the lane widths. I know that’s addressed a few times in the report but I remain a bit concerned.

“If it goes ahead, time will tell whether I am right or not. I hope I’m not.”

It is planned taxis and cycles will be allowed to use the new southbound lane, which will operate all day, every day.

The government-funded project also aims to direct cyclists into a new route parallel to Grapes Hill from the St Benedicts Street junction into Wellington Lane.

Bus operators had warned the three-metre bus lane could be too narrow, and tweaks to the plans have ensured it will now be 3.25m in width.

Noise and pollution concerns were also raised during a public consultation, but the councils insist there will be no traffic increase and air quality should improve as buses will not be stuck in queues.

Questions were also asked at today’s highways agency committee about why the bus lane will be in operation 24 hours a day.

Council officers say the aim is to encourage people to obey the new lane system and not to cause confusion by allowing access at outside of peak hours.

Bert Bremner, city council cabinet member for transportation, said: “In this case I think it’s right as there will still be two lanes [for general vehicles] as before.

“My experience of Earlham Road, where the bus lane stops at 9.30am, is people don’t read the sign and when I cruise up alongside them, they seem to get quite irritated with me. The bus lane might as well be made 24-hour as the rest of the population, apart from me, treat it as that.”

What do you think? Will the bus lane improve public transport in the city? Leave your comments below this story.

33 comments

  • The Inner Link Road has been adiaster since its conception.Look at the rape pf Norwich that was created Anglia Square.The Flyover,and the Thousands of fine houses from thet up Barn Road Grapes Hill [with a bridge over the divided St Gilies Street,] Chapelfield Road Queens Road,a swath of destrution,bringing vehicles right into the City Centre for what !! Civic fandalism at its worst

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Bus passengers need as much help as they can get . Standing at Castle Meadow or especially Theatre Street , in the cold and wet , is Hell . These rich car drivers don`t know how lucky they are .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Bus lanes increase congestion and tailbacks,the ones on Dereham road and Newmarket road prove that, so why do we need another one? Could it be in a socialist utopia we all leave our cars at home and use the incredibly expensive and endlessly reorganised bus service,if you can work out the latest route and remember the number! It's just another way to squander public money,especially incredible given the dreadful state of Norfolk roads,but coucillors are experts at spending taxpayers money on pointless projects like this.

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • I'd be quite annoyed to if Mr Bert Bremner, city council cabinet member for transportation "cruised up" alongside me in a bus lane trying to undertake!

    Report this comment

    Neil Walker

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • bus lanes should be co used by taxi's, they are public transport, Paul H. and over the festive season the only way to get home.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • The motorist penalised once more and the tax payer forking out for something that is not needed, much like the Mousehold mess that has been created. Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • I agree with kevinb - I would much prefer that the council spent £1m filling in potholes and resurfacing roads properly. Unfortunately councils will tell you there's no money for these mundane necessities whilst at te same time finding millions to spend on pointless projects such as this one. They did exactly the same in Kings Lynn where a bus lane was constructed and none of the bus operators really wanted it!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • 3.25m bus lane = squashed cyclists,dem buses are around 2.55m plus the large mirrors. The Lycra clad brigade and government guidance favours 4m minimum for bus lanes, unfortunately for the cyclists of Norwich, the carrot crunchers in charge don't give a monkey about squashed cyclists.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Seems a hell of a lot of money to me for these works

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • With'Worst' sorry 'First' bus running the buses - you must be joking!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • the huge cost MIGHT be justified if it was a busy bus route but I use that road regularly, mainly in the early morning or evening, and I very rarely see a bus on it.

    Report this comment

    Mikado Kember

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • The only way to improve the traffic situation, would be to reinstate trams that used to run the whole length of Newmarket Rd, and or to reduce the cost of the park and ride costs to make it more appealing to the people who want to use the park and ride system.

    Report this comment

    macmillan7382

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • Nobody has mentioned the resultant tailbacks of traffic only using one lane. The other point I want to mention is that the majority of the buses do not run 24 hours a day.

    Report this comment

    vschems

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • No, it will not improve public transport, but it will improve their clutches lifespan and possibly travel time. Talk about quickly finding a suitable headline...

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • @neil walker - you are obviously someone who cannot read - either road signs or articles. As Bert says in the article - it is NOT a bus lane after 9:30am. I always just happily drive up on the inside there too, because motorists who are either blind or stupid (or both) are sitting in the outside (overtaking) lane.

    Report this comment

    norwichred

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • FYI norwichred I am quite able to read and think and the same time should the need arise. "As Bert says in the article - it is NOT a bus lane after 9:30am" So that makes it ok to undertake does it? Better have another go reading that Highway code my learned friend!

    Report this comment

    Neil Walker

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • Scotcan "queuing or slow-moving" doesn't mean anything and everything going slower that you though does it?

    Report this comment

    Neil Walker

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • I'd prefer to see the bus fares reduced first. It's often cheaper to drive into the city centre and pay to park for a few hours than to take the family shopping on the bus!

    Report this comment

    tigger449

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

  • Another 24 hour bus lane for non-existent 24 hour bus service...Norfolk continues with its carrot crunching image.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Another place for cyclists to ride where they should, KeithS Other traffic will still have two lanes in each direction, vschems Do you not read the article before commenting? Neil Walker might wish to go back to the Highway Code which allows vehicles to undertake, including in bus lanes (when they are not active), provided that the traffic in the outer lanes is queuing or slow-moving.

    Report this comment

    ScotCan

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • Somewhere else for cyclists to ride where they shouldn't.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Monstrous waste of public funds.

    Report this comment

    Disgusted of Norwich South

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • The inner llink road a total disaster

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Neil Walker. These words seem very clear indeed to me. But perhaps my habit of exercising a bit of intelligent judgement is what causes difficulty for you. Clear or not these words part of the regulations within UK law

    Report this comment

    ScotCan

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Can somebody tell me why it costs that amount of money to make a bus lane.Coming into Norwich via the Dereham Rd at Costessey is a joke, this piece of road which i believe is a 24hr bus lane now, has more cars using it then buses. The planners in Norwich have a lot to learn I think, the only city I know where you get so many two lane pieces of road running into one I was taught at school 2 into 1 do not go Come on you council planners spend my money abit more wisely

    Report this comment

    Fishmore

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • Waiste of money could be spent on the roads that need repairing all the big pot holes in them

    Report this comment

    kevinb

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Why taxi's they are not public transport

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Mr Bremner seems to have a patronising view of the rest of us, he is not the only one who can read and use the bus lane when allowed to do so. Overtaking while using a bus lane is hardly undertaking, its just using the space provided while others fail to understand. Making Grapes hill bus lane 24 hours is just ridiculous.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

  • yet another way to disrupt traffic and annoy the motorist!

    Report this comment

    pointer772001

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • As a cyclist and a motorist who also uses the buses I have mixed feelings over bus lanes. What troubles me is how can a few yellow lines and some warning signs justify best part of a million quid?

    Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Has this plan come to be following the complete farce of a survey that caused utter chaos the other week around Norwich? Or are they not waiting for the findings of that. Will motorcycles be allowed to use this route or do we just get squashed in the ever thinning lanes.

    Report this comment

    ggj666

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • With the width of a standard van being 2.5m, this could cause problems and be rather scary! How wide is a bus???

    Report this comment

    andy

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • the huge cost MIGHT be justified if it was a busy bus route but I use that road regularly, mainly in the early morning or evening, and I very rarely see a bus on it.

    Report this comment

    Mikado Kember

    Friday, November 30, 2012

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

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