New tunnel idea to improve Wymondham bridge traffic
- Credit: Archant
A new tunnel for pedestrians and cyclists could be created next to a Norfolk town's railway bridge to try and reduce congestion and improve safety.
The tunnel, next to the Station Road bridge in Wymondham, has been mooted in a Connecting South Wymondham document as part of the Wymondham Area Action Plan (WAAP), which was discussed at a meeting of South Norfolk Council's cabinet on Tuesday (May 7).
The narrow road under the bridge has become a notorious bottleneck for vehicles travelling to and from the south of the town and often floods during heavy rainfall.
However, the aim is to widen the road under the bridge by removing existing pedestrian and cycle paths alongside the road to provide more space for cars and instead create a tunnel through the embankment next to the bridge which would take cyclists and pedestrians.
Councillors raised concerns about the cost of the scheme and whether the improvements would enable the bridge to cope with possibly an extra 4,000 vehicles associated with over 1,200 new homes that could be built in southern Wymondham.
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Cllr Keith Weeks was concerned Network Rail, which is responsible for maintaining the UK rail network, may be a problem when trying to get the tunnel built.
He added: 'There is not enough information on road traffic and vehicles in that area.'
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The 'Connecting South Wymondham' document was drawn up to find ways of improving transport links between the south of the town and the town centre because of concerns the south was being physically and psychologically disconnected from the town.
The proposals include creating new pedestrian and cycle routes, widening footpaths and installing pedestrian crossings in the area around Station Road, Silfield Road and Right Up Lane.
Council leader John Fuller told the cabinet: 'This document strengthens our hand in negotiations with developers, but this goes beyond what developers expect us to do.'
The Connecting South Wymondham document will be part of the background evidence document to support the WAAP, which should be going out for eight weeks of public consultation from May to July.