New images show £6.1m Norwich shopping street shake-up plans
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
These images show latest plans for a £6.1m revamp for one of Norwich's main shopping streets, ahead of a decision on whether the scheme should happen.
Councillors will be asked to approve the scheme for St Stephens Street and Surrey Street in Norwich when they meet on Thursday, June 10.
It includes repositioning bus stops, shelters and planters and improved crossings for pedestrians.
When the plans were originally mooted in September last year, council officers had suggested increasing the number of bus stops in St Stephens Street.
But, after consultation, that number will now remain the same, with extra bays put in at Norwich bus station instead.
A proposal to make Surrey Street one-way has also been scrapped, although pavements there will be widened.
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport and chair of the Transforming Cities joint committee, which will make a decision, said: “The original proposal aimed to create an area where people feel safe and relaxed, make it easier to cross the road and create more space for those using public transport.
"At the same time it looked to improve bus journey times and reliability of services by enabling buses to access and exit stands more easily, which would also help to reduce pollution.
"The consultation demonstrated there was wide support for improving this part of the city, but people were concerned generally about the volume of bus traffic on St Stephens and the amount of space available to pedestrians in the proposed design, particularly in light of Covid.
"Officers have listened to public feedback and developed the design to also increase capacity within the bus station itself, reducing pressure on St Stephens and maximising pedestrian space, whilst still delivering all core benefits set out in the original proposal."
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But controversial plans for new 'sawtooth' bus bays in St Stephens Street remain.
Council bosses say that would make it easier for buses to pull away after picking up or dropping off passengers.
In the report which will come before councillors, officers said: "Evidence from the road safety team at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority stated that streets in Cambridge with a sawtooth design have a low injury accident record and no recorded cycling accidents."
But Richard Bearman, chairman of Norwich Cycling Campaign, said he still had concerns.
He said: "Our big concern is around visibility and the sight lines for bus drivers when pulling out.
"There may be schemes elsewhere which have not had incidents yet, but that does not mean there will not be any."
The scheme would be paid for using some of the £32m Norwich was awarded through the government's Transforming Cities scheme.