Hopes for new pedestrian crossing on busy Norwich road are dashed

Sweet Briar Road roundabout in Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

Sweet Briar Road roundabout in Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Campaigners who wanted a new pedestrian crossing on a busy Norwich road as part of a £1.6m roundabout revamp have been left disappointed, after council bosses said it could not be justified.

Sandra Bogelein, Green Party councillor for Wensum.

Sandra Bogelein, Green Party councillor for Wensum. - Credit: Submitted

Major changes to the roundabout where Dereham Road meets Sweet Briar Road, which council bosses say will cut congestions and bring improvements for cyclists and pedestrians, is due to start within weeks.

The roundabout will be made bigger and two new signal-controlled pedestrian crossings added - one on Guardian Road and one on Dereham Road to the west of the roundabout, near the junction with Hellesdon Road.

But there were calls, including from the Wensum Residents Association and Green city councillor Sandra Bogelein for another signalled crossing in Dereham Road to the east of the roundabout.

Council officers agreed to assess that section of Dereham Road, from the roundabout to the Hotblack Road/Bowthorpe Road junction.

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Pedestrian counts were carried out in three locations along the road between 8am and 9am and 4pm to 5pm on a weekday and an officer visited at hometime for Wensum Junior School and in the early evening rush hour.

But council officers said there were only about five people crossing in each place they checked, although they accepted wait times to get over the road 'could vary significantly'.

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Officers said of 12 recorded injury accidents on the road, to the end of February this year, none involved pedestrians.

They concluded: 'The very low numbers of pedestrians surveyed, and five year safety record of nil pedestrian involvement does not justify spending on further pedestrian crossing facilities in this location.'

But they did say that, six to nine months after the roundabout revamp scheme is completed, a further pedestrian crossing assessment could be carried out to see if anything has changed which would justify the extra crossing.

And officers added that, if homes are ever built on the former site of the Earl Of Leicester pub, controversially knocked down more than 10 years ago but still undeveloped, the council could explore whether a pedestrian refuge island could form part of the developer's obligations.

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