Final phase of city 20mph zone to bring another 12 weeks of roadworks disruption

Google Street view of Duke Street, Norwich

Google Street view of Duke Street, Norwich - Credit: Archant

An ambition to slow traffic on every road within Norwich's old city walls to 20mph will move forward next month when roadworks disruption heads to Duke Street.

There will be some respite from the 12 week roadworks over the Christmas break, but for two six week periods, from October 2 and January 3, there will be lane closures.

Last July council officers approved a £400,000 plan to introduce lower limits on Ber Street, Duke Street, Westwick Street, Rouen Road and Whitefriars, with a commitment to complete the work by the end of March next year.

It is one of several proposals which make up the £5.7m programme of improvements to the Pink Pedalway and the Duke Street project will be the final step in making the city centre 20mph.

Coming towards the end of a year which has seen almost continuous roadworks as part of Transport for Norwich scheme, businesses are now feeling the brunt of the changes.

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Stefan Gurney, director of Norwich BID, said: 'We know in a sense if they are following a larger pattern it should ease the situation, but it doesn't feel that way at the moment.

'For people using the city it seems to be getting harder rather than easier. It is very difficult to get around the city or understand why the works are being done.

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'If it causes delays that will have an impact on whether you decide to make the journey or not. You are not going to go into the city if traffic is congested. 'We can take the short term pain for the long term gain, but it depends on how long the short term is.

'Most people can see there is a wider Norwich context but it's difficult when it impacts directly outside their front door as well as the wider city. 'The bottom line is they want to make the city better - they are not out to destroy the city but are trying to create a workable transport system in a medieval street infrastructure.'

A Christmas embargo on roadworks will run from mid-November to the start of January, meaning more disruption has been felt over the summer months.

'They have to fit more in to a smaller window of opportunity, which is why it is worse in certain peak periods, certainly during the summer months when there is less school traffic,' added Mr Gurney. 'Businesses are looking forward to some sort of normality at the end of October.'

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