The £4.4m revamp of a notorious roundabout will "fall well short" of making the crash blackspot safer, warn cycling campaigners.

Norwich Cycling Campaign has criticised the proposed changes to the city's Heartsease roundabout, which were unveiled by Norfolk County Council last week.

The group say the scheme is a missed opportunity and that the authority should have pushed ahead with plans to create Norwich's first Dutch-style roundabout - with a segregated cycle path and priority for pedestrians and cyclists over drivers.

The roundabout is one of the trickiest to negotiate in the city and it is difficult for pedestrians to cross at the busy junction, where Plumstead Road intersects with St William's Way, Heartsease Lane and Harvey Lane.

Eastern Daily Press: Heartsease roundaboutHeartsease roundabout (Image: Archant 2022)

Over the past decade, almost 70pc of recorded crashes at the roundabout in which people were hurt involved cyclists or pedestrians.

Proposed changes include:

  • The road layout on both the roundabout and its approaches will be turned into single lanes.
  • New zebra crossings on all ‘arms’ of the roundabout, including one to replace an existing signal crossing on the northern end of Harvey Lane.
  • New shared-use paths for cyclists and pedestrians around all arms of the roundabout, with other new footpaths and cycleways.

Eastern Daily Press:

But plans for the junction to become a Dutch-style roundabout were scrapped.

Council officers said traffic modelling showed that would have caused "unacceptable delays" for drivers, but Norwich Cycling Campaign say that is a missed opportunity.

Eastern Daily Press: Derek Williams, Richard Bearman and Peter Silburn, from Norwich Cycling CampaignDerek Williams, Richard Bearman and Peter Silburn, from Norwich Cycling Campaign (Image: Sophie Wyllie)

Peter Silburn, chairman of Norwich Cycling Campaign, said: "The best solution for this junction is a Dutch-style roundabout, which we know works well in a UK context. There’s one in Cambridge built on a similar junction that went in two years ago.

"We welcome the parallel crossings and measures to slow drivers down but without the full Dutch design this risks being a halfway house that only partially delivers on making the junction safer whilst unnecessarily bringing pedestrians and cyclists into conflict."

The campaign group wants segregation between cyclists and pedestrians and, at an "absolute minimum" wants the zebra crossings to be raised up, to ensure drivers slow down.

Eastern Daily Press: Derek Williams, from Norwich Cycling CampaignDerek Williams, from Norwich Cycling Campaign (Image: THOMAS WOODS)

Derek Williams, spokesman for the Norwich Cycling Campaign said: "Unfortunately the present plan falls well short of what is needed to make this busy junction safer for all users."

A council spokesperson said: "The proposals aim to improve safety for all users of this busy junction within the space available.

"We have worked closely with Active Travel England in developing the draft design of these much-needed improvements, which include greater promotion of a variety of alternative cycle routes through the local area.

"We welcome all views through the consultation period via the online survey where there is also find a list of frequently asked questions."

Public consultation over the plans runs at until January 3.