Norwich commuters breathe sigh of relief after roadworks end
PUBLISHED: 17:26 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:26 24 May 2019
Motorists are enjoying a roadwork-free journey and 20 minutes sliced off the time it takes to get around the city centre after the completion of a new lay-out.
Businesses slammed the catalogue of road disruptions making getting to work in the city a nightmare when roadworks on the Transport for Norwich initiative started back in December. Congestion had been worse at commuter times around Prince of Wales Road after the King Street 'cut through' was pedestrianised and the number of lanes reduced on Rose Lane. Then further delays were caused with the creation of cycle lanes and parking bays as well as a new traffic island.
However, now the roadworks at this site has finished, the new lay-out seems to be working. This newspaper put it to the test and found at peak commuter morning times this week, it only took, on average, between six-seven minutes to drive from Tombland, down Prince of Wales Road and up Rose Lane to Rouen Road compared with up to 30 minutes during the peak of the disruption.
Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth, said: "The feedback has been good, we're not quite finished as we just have some replacement signs and raised beds and we'll be monitoring traffic. But the scheme has resulted in free flowing traffic up Rose Lane.
"Our intention wasn't to clog up the city centre."
He admitted, though, that traffic was still congested at the end of the day, with the worst area being Agricultural Hall Plain.
EDP business writer Caroline Culot, who travels from her home near Aylsham, every day into Norwich, said: "I think I speak for many motorists when I say that I used to dread the daily commute; unless I left much earlier, I got snarled up in bad traffic queues down Prince of Wales Road, only to then queue, bumper to bumper, all the way round and up the other side along Rose Lane.
"But it's now noticeably greatly improved; I've timed the journey and I can get from Tombland to Rouen Road in only six or seven minutes."
Transport for Norwich is a programme of work to improve accessibility by all forms of transport around the city with the aim to encourage the use of more sustainable forms of transport, such as public transport, cycling and walking.