£800k Norwich city centre traffic shake-up will go ahead

The Tombland junction with Palace Street. Photo: Bill Smith

The Tombland junction with Palace Street. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

A controversial £800,000 city centre road shake-up will go ahead, after councillors finally gave it the green light.

As part of its £5.7m Push the Pedalways scheme, Norwich City Council had proposed changes to Tombland and Palace Street, near Norwich Cathedral.

The proposals, which would see the roundabout outside the Maids Head Hotel replaced with a junction, sparked objections, including from the Norwich School.

Last November, the proposals were put on ice for further discussion.

A proposal to remove the signal controlled pedestrian crossing near the Edith Cavell statue to provide a toucan crossing instead was of particular concern.

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Following further talks with the school. council officers made changes to the scheme.

Those included replacing the proposed toucan crossing with traffic lights at the junction of Princes Street and Tombland, with a pedestrian crossing on Tombland immediately to the north of the junction.

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The committee heard the school had written a letter in support of that move.

And members of the Norwich Highways Agency committee, made up of city and county councillors, today unanimously approved the changes.

But Jonathan Cage, vice chairman of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and agent for the Maids Head Hotel, criticised the consultation process.

He said: 'The Maids Head and a large number of other businesses in Tombland, whose access arrangements are fundamentally effected have made detailed objections.

'However, we have received no feedback from the scheme promoters, nor has any reference been made to these objections, with only Norwich School given the courtesy if further discussions.'

Officers said the service bay in front of the hotel would remain and the views of traders had seen an increase in bays for servicing.

A two-way cycle track on the eastern side of Tombland and the southern side of Palace Street, between Princes Street and St Martin at Palace Plain will also form part of the scheme.

But plans for a contra flow cycle route around the Tombland triangle was dropped, to the disappointment of the Norwich Cycling Campaign, which had pushed for that to remain.

Officers said that had been scrapped because of the Norwich School's concerns over safety.

What do you think of the scheme? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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