Hopes for £5m revamp to two major Norwich streets revealed
PUBLISHED: 09:29 30 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:13 30 August 2020
More than £5m could be spent to revamp two major Norwich streets in a drive to speed up buses, cut pollution and bring improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.
Council leaders are still waiting to hear whether their bid for millions of pounds from the government’s Transforming Cities pot of cash has been successful.
But, in expectation money will be forthcoming, they have drawn up plans which would see major changes to St Stephens Street, while a scheme already mooted in Thorpe Road is set to be approved.
The £4.8m shake-up for St Stephens Street would see changes made to the section between the inner ring road up to Red Lion Street, also taking in Surrey Street and Rampant Horse Street.
In St Stephens Street, new sawtooth bus bays would be created, which council bosses say would make it easier for buses to pull away after picking up or dropping off passengers.
Levels of the harmful pollution Nitrogen Dioxide are still above targets in St Stephens Street, but council bosses saying cutting the times buses spend stationary or in congestion can cut air pollution by up to 11pc.
Along with three new bus stops, a raised table would be created at the junction with Surrey Street to slow vehicle speeds but allow the removal of traffic signals there.
A new signal-controlled pedestrian crossing would be installed just to the east of that junction, while the existing crossings would be widened.
You may also want to watch:
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said the projects would be good news for greater Norwich.
He said: “The project in St Stephens Street would make a significant difference for bus journeys, as well as cycling and walking, and they are our biggest priorities for the city, to make it a better experiences for visitors to come and enjoy.”
Officers said: “The quality of the environment will be significantly improved through carefully designed bus waiting areas that incorporate seating, planting as well as digital and printed information.
“These will help to create a more open feel to the area as well as comfort and convenience both for passengers and non-passengers alike.”
Between St Stephens Street and the bus station entrance, Surrey Street would be made one-way northbound for motorised traffic with provision for a contraflow cycle lane to allow two-way cycling to remain.
All buses wanting to use Norwich Bus Station would have to use the Queens Road entrance.
A separate £750,000 scheme for Thorpe Road would see a new bus and cycle contraflow, new zebra crossing and extensions for double yellow lines. Public consultation on that has already taken place.
Councillors on the joint committee for Transforming Cities Fund Projects are due to agree to put the St Stephens Street scheme out for public consultation and to approve the Thorpe Road scheme when they meet on Tuesday, September 7.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.