Check out a 360 degree view of Norwich city centre roadworks ahead of Westlegate closure
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016
Drivers are facing further Norwich city centre disruption, with the second phase of a controversial shake-up of traffic due to start in just over a week.
And our 360 degree of the roadworks currently taking place around Golden Ball Street shows the extent of the work and disruption. Work around the image by placing your mouse or finger on it and dragging it (not viewable on iPhones on Safari).
The long-mooted permanent closure of Westlegate to traffic will happen a week on Monday, which will forever alter how drivers get around the city.
And Norfolk County Council has warned the latest changes could lead to more delays, with councillors urging drivers to bear with them while the work is done.
The wave of work which will start on Monday, March 21, is the next phase in the £3.05m project which has already seen months of work in Golden Ball Street. That road is being made two way and is due to re-open from the Monday.
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County councillor Steve Morphew, chair of the Norwich Highways Agency Committee, said: 'I'm really grateful for the help and patience of everyone during the current works.
'Thankfully there have been even fewer problems than anticipated. However, the next phase could cause more delays, so I ask everyone to bear with us while we carry out this work to build simpler faster routes for drivers and attractive spaces for everyone however they travel to the city.
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'We are starting this next phase just before the Easter break, which we know can be a busy time in the city so hopefully this will give people a few days to get used to the new road layouts before the bank holiday and plenty of time for the new system to settle down before schools go back after Easter.
'I ask people to please plan your journeys and allow extra time while the work is underway as everyone is having to adjust.'
With Westlegate closed to general traffic, work will start on the new pedestrian zone with a number of trees set to be planted over the next few months. Access for pedestrians and businesses will be retained.
The section of Farmers Avenue, from its junction with Red Lion Street to the entrance to the smaller Castle Mall car park, will also be pedestrianised.
That will be made possible by the rest of Farmers Avenue becoming two way. Red Lion Street will only be available for buses, taxis and cycles.
All Saints Green to the north of the junction with Surrey Street will become access only for northbound traffic, which will need to exit via the junction with Surrey Street.
Thorn Lane will be closed at its junction with Ber Street becoming a no through road and the junction of Rouen Road with Golden Ball Street and Cattle Market Street will eventually reopen as a priority junction;
At the John Lewis car park access, drivers will be able to turn right from and to Ber Street.
The council says the scheme will give motorists easier access to car parks, including at John Lewis, Castle Mall and the new one being built at Rose Lane.
But it has attracted criticism. Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich Business Improvement District (BID), said they remained concerned whether the inner ring road would cope with the extra traffic displaced by the changes.
And Steve Bloomfield, of Norwich Practices Ltd, which runs the walk-in centre in Rouen Road, said, while improved pedestrian access would be positive at the end of the project, the current work had but hampered access to the centre.
The second phase of work is due to continue until September.
• What do you think of the scheme? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPletters@archant.co.uk