Opinion: Norwich city centre road changes causing significant problems for motorists

New traffic restrictions in Norwich city centre being implemented.Buses, Taxis and bicycles only on

New traffic restrictions in Norwich city centre being implemented.Buses, Taxis and bicycles only on St Stephens Street .Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

The alterations to the roads in Norwich city centre were completed on Friday, November 7 and already appear to be causing significant problems for motorists.

Whilst anticipating the closure of St Stephens to traffic other than buses and taxis I am mightily shocked and concerned to discover that additionally Rampant Horse Street and Theatre Street are now also closed to motorists.

Can someone explain to me the logic in shutting off a perfectly good road to traffic which has two lanes available and merely a bus every 10 minutes, forcing all cars to share the already overcrowded roads that remain and leading to massive additional city centre congestion?

I was quite horrified that the road next to the small Tesco heading down from John Lewis in Westlegate has been narrowed with similar narrowing occurring at the side of the Forum on Theatre Street.

Do road planners have no awareness of how dangerous this makes the road, especially at the bottom of Westlegate where cars and larger vehicles are now forced to turn right rather than having the option of going straight ahead into Rampant Horse Street/Theatre Street?

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What happens if a vehicle breaks down or an emergency vehicle needs to get through? There is absolutely no room to get past. Also there is very little room for larger vehicles to swing round.

Surely it is only common sense to realise that permanently narrowing a road restricts the flow of traffic and creates serious delay or danger in the event of a breakdown or accident?

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Apparently on day one of the new system, massive delays were incurred as a consequence of a car breaking down in Exchange Street an area of the road network that is now forced to take a significantly higher level of traffic as a results of the newly implemented changes and the lack of alternative routes now available.

Since there is no sensible reason for blocking off the two lanes up Rampant Horse Street and Theatre Street which would make exiting the city far swifter and easier for traffic generally the narrowing of the road should be reversed and traffic should be allowed to go straight ahead at the lights and to use the two lanes available for leaving the city to relieve an impossibly overloaded road network unable to cope with the increased capacity it is forced to carry.

It is a bit like removing veins from somebody's leg; if you remove one then it is likely that the blood will relatively easily find another route to flow along. If you take out more than one, especially at the same time, then the remaining veins are unable to cope with the additional capacity and circulation through the system can be massively compromised.

Lynne Daniels,

Holworthy Road, Clover Hill, Bowthorpe.

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