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Parts of Norwich’s ring road to close during months of roadworks

PUBLISHED: 11:41 27 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:25 27 December 2019

The city morning rush hour traffic on Colman Road, the A140 ring road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The city morning rush hour traffic on Colman Road, the A140 ring road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Months of work will begin on Norwich’s ring road and nearby streets next month, as part of a controversial £650,000 scheme to cut congestion.

Parents protested over proposals to change the pedestrian crossing on Colman Road in Norwich. Photo: Neil DidsburyParents protested over proposals to change the pedestrian crossing on Colman Road in Norwich. Photo: Neil Didsbury

The work, in the Colman Road area, will see overnight closures of the ring road, some streets running off it shut and speed limits temporarily cut.

Changes to traffic lights timings, alterations to crossings, new pedestrian refuges and parking restrictions will be introduced on a stretch of the ring road, which Transport for Norwich officers say will help keep traffic moving and reduce pollution.

City and county councillors agreed changes, to the outer ring road between South Park Avenue and the A11 Newmarket Road, in March. The work is due to start next Thursday , with a string of closures.

Months of work will begin on Norwich's ring road and nearby streets next month, as part of a controversial £650,000 scheme to cut congestion.

Adi Pope, school crossing patrol officer. Pic: Dan Grimmer.Adi Pope, school crossing patrol officer. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

The work, in the Colman Road area, will see overnight closures of the ring road, some streets running off it shut and speed limits temporarily cut.

Changes to traffic lights timings, alterations to crossings, new pedestrian refuges and parking restrictions will be introduced on a stretch of the ring road, which Transport for Norwich officers say will help keep traffic moving and reduce pollution.

City and county councillors agreed changes, to the outer ring road between South Park Avenue and the A11 Newmarket Road, in March. While the precise dates of the work have yet to be confirmed, a string of closures planned.

Throughout the work, which is due to last for 12 weeks, one lane of South Park Avenue will be closed between its junctions with Colman Road and Caroline Court. Right turns will be banned from Colman Road into South Park Avenue.

Brian Watkins, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton. Pic: Liberal Democrats.Brian Watkins, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton. Pic: Liberal Democrats.

Highland Road, Muriel Road and Mornington Road will be closed at their junctions with Colman Road to allow kerbing works and areas for storage.

Waldeck Road will be closed at its junction with Mile End Road and the one-way restriction suspended while works are conducted on the pedestrian crossing.

Later on, during the work, right turns will be banned from both sides of Unthank Road on to Colman Road/Mile End Road. Right turns from Colman Road/Mile End Road into Unthank Road will also be banned in both directions. Those changes are needed while work is done on the pedestrian crossing near Waldeck Road.

There will also be a period of overnight road closures, between 7pm and 6am, on Colman Road/Mile End Road between its junctions with Newmarket Road and North Park Avenue and on Unthank Road from its junction with Colman Road to the entrance of The Colman Hospital. That is for carriageway resurfacing and lining.

Ian Stutely, Labour city councillor for Town Close. Pic: Labour Party.Ian Stutely, Labour city councillor for Town Close. Pic: Labour Party.

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Resurfacing work will also mean overnight road closures on South Park Avenue and Colman Road between its junctions with Unthank Road and North Park Avenue.

Diversions will be in place and there will be speed limit cuts to 20mph.

It will also mean disruption for First's 25 buses, which run between the city centre and the university.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council said: "When complete these changes are designed to help cut congestion on this very busy section of the ring road, particularly at peak times. Studies of the local network have informed the plans which were consulted on at the beginning of 2019. We are grateful for people's patience while this improvement work is under way."

However, the changes have attracted controversy.

Three schools - Colman Junior, Colman Infant and the specialist Clare School - are nearby and parents, who staged protests earlier this year, feared the changes to pedestrian crossings would put children in danger.

Andrew Tullett, governor at Colman Junior School, said there could be "unforeseen consequences" from the plans.

He warned: "The council say the refuges [central crossing islands] they are putting in place are standard size crossings but this is not a normal crossing - it is the busiest crossing in front of a school in the whole of the county."

And Adi Pope, school crossing patrol officer at Colman Infant School and Colman Junior School, had said it would make it more difficult for him to ensure youngsters got across safely.

Brian Watkins, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton, said, when the plan was approved, that he could not support the scheme. He had warned it could make matters worse.

He said: "If you are not careful, it could exacerbate the problem. It could increase capacity and not have the desired effect of dealing with the congestion at Daniels Road roundabout."

And Ian Stutely, Labour city councillor for the Town Close ward, who originally backed the scheme, withdrew his support in September.

He warned a second road crossing patrol officer would be needed because of the changes.

He said: "If the scheme goes ahead without the provision of a new school crossing control there will be significant risk of serious collisions involving children."


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