Traffic shake-ups put forward for four roads in Norwich
- Credit: Archant
A road closure, bus lane changes and new pedestrian and cycle crossings are mooted in four Norwich traffic shake-up schemes people are invited to have their say on.
Changes are planned for a string of streets, as the first steps are taken to spend millions of pounds of government cash.
More than £3m of the government's £32m Transforming Cities cash would be spent if schemes for St Stephens Road, King Street, Cromer Road/Aylsham Road and South Park Avenue go ahead.
Norfolk County Council officers say the schemes on King Street and St Stephens Road will make it better for cyclists and pedestrians while a new bus lane in Cromer Road/Aylsham Road will cut journey times.
Proposals to widen South Park Avenue in Eaton would see mean buses could pass each other without slowing down or stopping.
These are the schemes the public is invited to have a say on:
Cromer Road / Aylsham Road
With those roads used by about 180 buses inbound and 160 buses outbound each weekday, this £1m scheme aims to cut their journey times.
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The proposals include two new sections of inbound bus lanes. One in Cromer Road, between Fifers Lane and Mayfield Avenue and the second in Aylsham Road, between Suckling Avenue and Woodcock Road.
Both bus lanes would be shared with cyclists and operate 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Council officers say it will cut bus journey times by 15 to 20pc, but other traffic would expect to see a 5pc to 10pc increase in their journey times in peak periods.
St Stephens Road
Council officers had been considering widening the pavement in St Stephens Road - a key route in and out of the city centre and used by many City College Norwich students.
Three options were suggested to widen the footpaths. One proposed the removal of the inbound bus lane.
But officers concluded benefits did not outweigh the disruption which would have been caused during construction.
So they are consulting on an £800,000 option which would widen the pedestrian crossing near Grove Road, while left turns from St Stephens Road into Grove Road would be banned.
South Park Avenue
This £467,000 project aims to make it easier for buses to get down the relatively narrow road near Eaton Park, while improving safety for pedestrians.
The carriageway near the boating pond entrance to the park would be widened, to get round a problem where number 25 First buses have to wait to pass each other.
The traffic island outside the park entrance would be replaced with a pedestrian crossing.
But it would see the grass verges outside people's homes in South Park Avenue removed.
This £1m scheme in the historic street would widen the footpaths and narrow the carriageway.
Officers had been looking at making the street one-way and putting in a cycle contraflow, but a number of concerns were raised over that suggestion.
So they have scrapped that idea and focused on cutting vehicle speeds by narrowing the road and realigning the Rouen Road junction to further slow traffic.
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, and chair of the Transforming Cities Fund joint committee, said: “We’re committed to working with our Transport for Norwich partners to make the most of the government’s investment in our sustainable transport network.
“Each of the proposals we’ve put forward aims to improve facilities for those who travel around the city by cycling, walking and bus, while also creating better links to help more people access jobs, training and retail through cleaner modes of transport.
“We’d like feedback on the plans from anyone who lives in or uses these areas to help shape the final projects put forward for construction.”
People in the project areas have sent letters with details of the proposals and information on how to share their views.
People can also have their say via www.norfolk.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/major-projects-and-improvement-plans/norwich/city-centre-improvements/improvement-projects/future
The deadline for comments on all the schemes is 10am on Wednesday, February 10.
The council says responses will be carefully considered and the outcomes reported back to the Transforming Cities Fund joint committee later in the year.