Campaigners call for bus lane to be open to all traffic
PUBLISHED: 07:08 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:30 11 March 2020
Copyright: Archant 2020
Campaigners have called for a bus lane to open up to all vehicles to ease traffic congestion.
Clover Hill Road, which borders a housing development in Bowthorpe, joins to Earlham Green Lane, a route which leads to Dereham Road and city centre access.
But the point at which the two connect is a bus lane only, meaning cars and other vehicles are not allowed to travel between the roads.
It has sparked anger from people nearby, who argue it should be open to all traffic, due to added journey times, increased congestion, practicality and unnecessary stress.
A petition, which has reached nearly 400 signatures, was started by entertainer Jeremy King, from West Earlham, after he grew frustrated with the extra 10 minutes added to the journey to his daughter's dance class.
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The 40-year-old said: 'I could get there in less than one minute if I could use the bus lane. I don't understand how it is helping our business or economy as there are shops in the estate which people will be put off from going to due to the roundabout journey.
'Plus you end up spending a lot of time idling in traffic and I don't see how that is beneficial to the environment. I notice there are constant queues from the Larkman Lane junction to Bowthorpe which would be alleviated if people could use the bus lane. It is just time and stress wastage. Something has to give.'
Jon Watson, a 34-year-old independent campaigner for Bowthorpe, has lived in the area for most of his life and said opening up the bus lane would benefit the community.
He added: 'I have seen a great deal of changes occur here - right back to when we had one proper entrance in and out of the estate which caused chaos if there was an accident on the Dereham Road. We only have to look at Queen's Hills to see the problems they are having with limited access in and out of their estate.'
But other people in the area have expressed concern over opening the bus route, with a letter from Harry Mach in the Bowthorpe News saying it would contribute to carbon emissions and discourage active travel such as cycling.
A Norfolk County Council spokesperson said: 'Once we receive the petition we will look into the matter before responding to the issues raised.'