Traffic surveys pave way for potential closure of Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road

Traffic on Prince of Wales Road, NorwichPHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Traffic on Prince of Wales Road, NorwichPHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Traffic surveys have been taking place in Prince of Wales Road as council bosses weigh up whether to propose the complete closure of the Norwich street within two years.

The potential closure of the street has long been mooted, but the recent opening of the new multi-storey car park in Rose Lane and traffic shake-ups nearby in the city centre giving impetus to the possibility.

Proposals to extend the bus route from St Stephen Street along Prince of Wales Road have been in the Norwich Area Transport Strategy since 2013, and current plans would see it return to a two-way system, with only buses, taxis and cyclists allowed.

And council officers, having carried out recent traffic surveys of the street, have embarked upon traffic modelling for Prince of Wales Road and the surrounding area.

That work is due to be completed by the end of next month, after which further work will take place to see what impact changes would have on other parts of the city.

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One of the scenarios which will be tested is closing the road to general traffic, but other options could see changes to existing traffic flows, or simply leaving the road as it is.

Once the council officers complete their research, proposals are due to go before city and county councillor who sit on the Norwich Highways Agency Committee on November 24, where councillors will be asked for approval to consult the public.

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That may see just one option put forward, or it could result in the public being asked for views on a number of options.

If approved, the consultation would run from December onwards for about three to four months, with a final decision resting with councillors in March next year.

The plans are an extension of work around Golden Ball Street, which has seen £3m spent on changes such as making Golden Ball Street two-way and pedestrianising Westlegate.

A spokeswoman for Transport for Norwich said: 'We're currently using data from recent traffic surveys to test different potential schemes and how junctions would be affected in each scenario. Closure of Prince of Wales Road to general traffic is just one of the options being explored.

'If this option is taken forward, it would create better conditions for public transport services, improving journey times and reliability. Part of the aim is also to complete the 'bus corridor' from St Stephens Street through to the railway station and, if possible, to reduce the levels of traffic using routes through the city centre that don't have their origin or destination there.

'The proposals put forward for consultation will have been informed by this research and also have taken into account the impact of recent changes to the road network.'

What do you think of the possibility of Prince of Wales Road being closed to general traffic? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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