Traffic congestion concerns have today been raised about proposals to overhaul city centre streets to make them better for buses.

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The Norwich Highways Agency Committee has backed a public consultation on plans to close St Stephens Road and Surrey Street, between All Saints Green and St Stephens Street, to general traffic.

Transport officials hope to only allow buses, taxis, private hire vehicles, bicycles and commercial vehicles in the two streets.

They also want to remove or relocate five of the seven disabled parking bays from St Stephens and Surrey Street, and have more signs directing people to the Chapelfield Shopmobility programme.

But councillors asked for further evidence to be shown about how much extra pressure these £330,000 government-funded changes will place on Westlegate and Chapel Field Road.

Mike Stonard, city councillor for Catton Grove, asked how these proposals sat with the future aims to pedestrianise Westlegate.

Mervyn Scutter, Norwich Eaton county councillor, added he suspected the proposal will be “contentious” but he believed it had a lot of merit.

He told today’s meeting: “My concern really, or I would like more clarification, is what’s expected to happen to the displaced traffic? In particular, what’s the likely impact on Westlegate and the roundabout at Chapel Field? Both of them are pretty congested now. If there’s going to be additional traffic there, I would like to know what are the proposals to do that.”

Council officers said a long-term plan for Norwich was already in place and further traffic numbers will be provided during the four-week consultation, expected to start in November. An estimated 3,000 of the 5,000 vehicles which use St Stephens Street every day are cars.

The consultation will also include a separate project to make Chapel Field North two-way. It is believed this will prevent buses getting stuck in traffic, enable coaches to travel to attractions more easily and help delivery vehicles to reach shops.

Cars heading into the city from that direction will be able to reach the car park next to The Assembly House.

The committee approved the consultation, which also enables council staff to pursue securing traffic regulation orders relating to the proposed restrictions and changes.

Under the St Stephens plan, cars wanting to get across the city centre will have to head down Queens Road to All Saints Green and then travel down Westlegate to rejoin Red Lion Street.

Traffic heading down Westlegate will no longer be able to cross into Rampant Horse Street, in front of Marks and Spencer and Debenhams, but instead forced to turn right.

23 comments

  • I have a good idea to make the area better for buses - move someall of the stops into the specially built (at a huge cost) bus station right around the corner. Now there's an idea - buses serving out of the bus station! It would free up the traffic on St Stephens and would also SAVE the hideous cost of the work! Win win.

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    sprowstongal

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Bus Station....... how could all buses go via the Bus Station? Have you seen how big it is! It gets jammed now, and the lanes are built on a curve.... Not a very practical bus station as it is, all services running through it....... would never work... its not big enough.

    Report this comment

    xara56

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Would the planner responsible for this proposal explain in English the alternative route from St Stephens Road (County Side of the inner link) for a car travelling to Thorpe Station when St Stephens Street is closed. In my estimation, based on information given, All Saints Green, and Westlegate could see an additional 1500 cars per day, or 150 extra cars per hour over a 10 hour working day.

    Report this comment

    Joe Rome

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Not if the Traffic Lights from Weslegate are always showing RED!.......We have ways of making it work!

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • What about the traffic turning right onto red lion st the buses will just get caught up in that instead

    Report this comment

    david106

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • As a bus user and pedestrian I say more bus lanes, and more pedestrianisation as city car drivers at their best are a distinct pain in the arse and at worse obnoxious and ignorant

    Report this comment

    Joe Public

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • shouid you be showing the cars reg?

    Report this comment

    norwichwardy

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Doesn't anyone remember a revamp of St Stephens some years ago, when cars were banned whilst the work was carried out? Buses were allowed..... major problems, no! After a few days cars sorted themselves out, City was free flowing

    Report this comment

    xara56

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • they need a bus lane in red lion street to get to castle meadow

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    patrick feeney

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Bus station for the buses!

    Report this comment

    sprowstongal

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • It's a pity I was not brought into the consultation about this. I've got a bit of thick string which I have tied into a messy knot. Seems that is what is needed......Last car to come down St Stephens, Please shut the gate, and turn the lights out.

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • I think I've heard the council’s arguments before, when they decided to close Castle Meadow to cars, they said then, it would speed up busses and improve the flow of traffic. Well that didn't work and I suspect this idea will probably do the same thing, Fail. The only winner here are the bus companies, nobody else will gain from it. If the bus station was managed properly, it could take away most of the bus stops in St Stephens. Close the access to Surrey Street freeing up more space for the stops needed, using pontoon type stops and utilising the left side of the station which is never used for stops. They have a priority light signal at the top onto Queens Road. It would cost very little and cure the problem.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • biglingers--hello my second in command.I agree the buses are a mess and cause chaos.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • If there is going to be a lot more traffic going down Queens Road, how is anyone ever going to get out of the top of Hall Road. It's bad enough now!

    Report this comment

    smithy

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • biglingers has it right - buses block the road, not cars. Earlier today I was at the B stop on St Stephens for barely 5 minutes and saw an 11 and 11A (due in 3 and 13 minutes respectively, according to the display) clogging up the stop, leaving the 122 (due then) blocking the road behind as it had nowhere to go. Add this sort of thing up over the day to see where the congestion is coming from. If St Stephens has to be used for buses then the stops should be spaced out further so more than one bus can stop when needed.

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    littlesharpie

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • i suppose you think there shouldn't be bus stops up castle meadow either? make everyone get on at the bus station and dont let any passenger off until outside the city.how thoughtful.you all drive cars obviously.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Buses getting stuck? - they usually cause it! Try standing on St Stephens and watch for a while. Delays! watch the traffic lights and the way buses use their stops. Bus in your stop - don't worry - park parallel with your rear stuck out - sod anyone behind you!! About time there was some training to drivers on bus stop use. Well said sprowstongal - couldn't agree more.

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Norwich is a dog's breakfast of failed traffic planning,so one more lunatic scheme won't make a lot of difference! That coupled with the latest crackpot reorganisation of bus routes means most people will not bother to shop there any more! Discouraging customers in a time of austerity is a perfect recipe for empty city shops!

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • @norwichwardy as the photo is taken in a public place, I dont think EEN has to blank out the number plates, unless the car owner contacts the EEN and requests the number to be blanked then they will have to comply to that request.

    Report this comment

    chebram71

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Like everything in Norwich there are years and years of nothing but bulls**t consultations. JUST GET ON WITH IT !

    Report this comment

    chebram71

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Hello bookworm, how are you? Didn't think you'd be far away! All i'm suggesting is clear the street a bit. bookworm have you ever looked at bus operations in other places? I have and they don't have this problem. They leave the bus station and stop to pickup (e.g Preston - a city similar to Norwich), and are clear within a few minutes with NO traffic problems. See littlesharpies comments.

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    biglingers

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Why not just ban cars within the inner ring road? Then we can claim the biggest bus station in the world! A decent bus company may help!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Friday, September 28, 2012

  • A good point raised by sprowstongal, why are there buses on St Stephens when the bus station is so damn close... remove all bus stops from St Stephens!

    Report this comment

    sr44

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

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

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