U-turn over bid to close Norwich road to traffic

Artist's impression of how Park Lane would look lif the road closure initially proposed in the Push

Artist's impression of how Park Lane would look lif the road closure initially proposed in the Push The Pedalways changes was brought in. - Credit: Norwich City Council

Proposals to block off a Norwich road look set to be axed in the wake of opposition from worried neighbours, who say it would send cars down their streets instead.

As part of the £5.7m Push the Pedalways project, council officers had put forward proposals they said would make getting around the city safer for cyclists.

One of their proposals was to block off Park Lane, in Norwich's Golden Triangle, at its junction with Avenue Road. That would stop traffic, other than bicycles from heading down the road.

But that led to a petition against the closure, signed by more than 300 people, while a consultation saw more than 500 people oppose the proposal.

People living nearby said the changes would send traffic rat-running down their streets instead, while there were concerns about the impact on nearby schools.

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Norwich South MP Simon Wright carried out his own survey which he said showed that 93pc of people living nearby were against the closure plans.

The closure is due to be discussed at a meeting of the Norwich Highways Agency committee, made up of city and county councillors, next week.

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And, in the light of the opposition, council officers are recommending that the closure is removed from the proposals, although other elements of the scheme, such as traffic

calming and a zebra crossing to replace the pelican crossing on Unthank Road are still proposed.

Brenda Arthur, leader of Labour-led Norwich City Council, said: 'The feedback, concerns and suggestions brought to our attention through this process have informed the final proposed approach to improving the pink pedalway in this area.

'This includes presenting a way forward at next week's highways committee that does not include any road closures in the Park Lane area – a change made to initial proposals in direct response to local opposition.'

Liberal Democrat MP Mr Wright said: 'The current plan would have several unintended consequences for the wider area, including diverting road traffic along narrow roads and along school routes.

Councillors need to take these concerns into account, and agree not to proceed with the original proposals.'

Green councillors for Nelson ward also urged councillors to abandon the road closure.

What do you think? Write, giving your full contact details, to Letters Editor, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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