Drivers advised to “consider other options” as building work creates tailbacks around Duke Street
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Drivers are being advised to 'consider other options' as building work on Duke Street has been causing headaches for traffic during rush hour.
One lane of Duke Street has been closed while development work is taking place at the former car showroom, which is being demolished and converted into 37 new apartments.
Local business owners have hit out at the road closure, claiming they were not warned and that tailbacks during rush hour can stretch back from Duke Street to Bank Plain and into the city.
Adrian Phillips, managing director of Aleks jewellers on London Street, parks at St Andrew's car park on a daily basis for work.
'Half of one lane has been boarded off so anything that goes along Duke Street at 5pm has to merge into one lane,' he said.
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'On Thursday of last week it took one hour to get out of St Andrew's car park to get into the queue of traffic, and this has been going on around three weeks.
'The lane closure is permanent but the worst traffic is after 4pm at rush hour. They have been given half the road to do this work which doesn't make sense to me. Nobody else will benefit from it so it shouldn't affect the people of Norwich.
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'Customers are saying to me now they will not come into Norwich because it is impossible to get out again.'
A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: 'We're in discussions with the contractor and looking for solutions. Another consideration to be aware of is that work on site is being constrained due to the possibility of archaeological finds.
'Obviously, rush-hour places extra demand on the city's main commuter routes at key times every day so anything drivers can do to minimise this by using alternative routes and parking options is a good idea.
'So anyone who regularly uses St Andrews car park may want to consider using other parking options that the city council provides such as St Giles or Rose Lane.'
A spokesperson from builders John Youngs said: 'During ongoing development work, and following consultation with Norwich City Council one lane of Duke Street has been closed to ensure the safety of pedestrians and road users. The traffic management system will remain in place until the project is completed. We are working closely with the City Council to minimise any disruption.'