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Warning that closure of roundabout may worsen ‘absolute chaos’ traffic on Norwich road

PUBLISHED: 08:29 23 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:43 23 May 2018

Roadworks on the Sweet Briar Road roundabout. Picture: David Hannant

Roadworks on the Sweet Briar Road roundabout. Picture: David Hannant

Archant

People living in a Norwich street where traffic is “absolute chaos” have warned a five-day closure of a roundabout may worsen their problems.

The public meeting at Wensum Community Centre. Picture: ArchantThe public meeting at Wensum Community Centre. Picture: Archant

On Monday, Sweet Briar Road roundabout will close for five days to allow for resurfacing.

It has worried those living nearby, particularly in Hotblack Road, which is often used as a rat run off Dereham Road.

While the route’s junction with Dereham Road will be closed during the work, residents are concerned there will still be significantly more traffic, gridlock if drivers miss signs, rat running pushed onto neighbouring streets and a greater risk of crashes.

On Tuesday, the Wensum Residents’ Association held a public meeting, where they were joined by Transport for Norwich officials.

The public meeting at Wensum Community Centre. Picture: ArchantThe public meeting at Wensum Community Centre. Picture: Archant

Questions ranged from whether the work could be done in shorter, less disruptive, stages, to if plans were in place for drivers of larger vehicles.

One resident described the road as “absolute chaos”, while another said there were often fights between drivers - including one earlier on Tuesday - and wing mirrors smashed off.

Liam Calvert, chairman of the residents’ association, said their research showed 3,500 cars used the road every day, compared to 500 to 700 in neighbouring streets.

“Traffic volumes are a massive issue, which causes problems for residents - children can’t cross the roads, and if you go out with your children you can’t go to the other side of the car,” he said.

“People need to be forewarned as it will be very easy for them to drive down anyway and get stuck when it is closed.”

The meeting heard from Mark Wright, who lives near where the work will take place and said the planned hours - from 6am to midnight - would cause his family disruption. Another family said they would have to park 20 minutes away from their house.

Ted Leggett, city network coordinator for Norwich City Council, said they had explored doing the work at weekends and overnight, but that both were less time and cost effective.

“It is always easier to do it in one big hit of work, when nothing will change, rather than lots of sections,” he said. “We can’t promise it will be a breeze, and that everyone will follow signs, but we want to make it as short as possible.”

While the roundabout was a focus of the meeting, other topics - including speed signs and pedestrian crossings - were also on the agenda.


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