Drivers face further disruption in another Norwich city centre traffic shake-up

Work to pedestrianise Westlegate in Norwich could start this time next year .Picture by SIMON FINLAY

Work to pedestrianise Westlegate in Norwich could start this time next year .Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The radical shake-up of how traffic flows around Norwich looks set to continue, with work to pedestrianise another city centre street and to ban cars from other roads potentially starting within 12 months.

A long-held ambition to close Westlegate to traffic means plans are being drawn up by officers and, if councillors give it the go-ahead, work could start this time next year.

The move follows the multi-million changes to ban cars from St Stephen's Street and part of Rampant Horse Street.

The Westlegate scheme, which is being worked up by officers at Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council, would also see Golden Ball Street - the road which runs in front of the Woolpack pub - made two-way.

Red Lion Street, which traffic can currently get to via Westlegate would be closed to general traffic, as would part of All Saints Green.

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But the changes to Golden Ball Street would mean traffic could still get to the Castle Mall car park, near the Vue cinema entrance, via alterations to Farmers Avenue.

Norwich city councillor Mike Stonard, cabinet member for environment, development and transport, said: 'The plans to pedestrianise Westlegate are an important part of our efforts to improve the shopping environment in Norwich.

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'Once complete, this area will provide an important link for shoppers between major parts of the city centre, making it a better place for visitors while also boosting local businesses.'

Work is currently underway on modelling and feasibility for the pedestrianisation of the Westlegate area. It was only last year that changes were made to stop cars from going straight across into Rampant Horse Street as part of the £1.7m

Transport for Norwich transformation.

The Norwich Highways Agency Committee, made up of city and county councillors, is due to discuss the proposed changes when it meets in June.

If the committee decides to take the proposals further there would then be public consultation. If approved, work would start on the changes in spring next year.

The councils say specific costs for the scheme are not yet known, but £2.5m is available for the changes in Golden Ball Street thanks from the Norwich Growth Board, which allocates cash from a levy on developers building new homes.

The changes could also be funded by a share of the £8.4m the city council was recently awarded under the Department for Transport's Cycling Ambition Cities scheme.

• Do you think the changes to Westlegate are a good idea? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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