Controverisal plan for rapid bus scheme in Norwich’s Dereham Road

People are being invited to have their say on controversial plans which would pave the way for a rapid bus transit route on one of Norwich's busiest roads.

Dereham Road has been selected as the first of six bus corridors where changes would be made to give buses increased priority.

The �1.5m scheme would, council officers hope, encourage bus operators to provide higher quality, faster and more reliable buses.

But the proposals have caused controversy - because the scheme as initially put forward involved a ban on right turns into Old Palace Road from Dereham Road heading out of the city or into Heigham Road for cars heading into the city.

Families living nearby said that would lead to rat-running through nearby streets, such as Gladstone Street, Nelson Street and Northumberland Street.

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Three petitions, signed by 180 people, were submitted and in the face of that opposition, the Norwich Highways Agency Committee, made up of city and county councillors, asked engineers to come up with an alternative.

In September, the committee agreed that a new option, alongside the original proposal, should be put forward for public comment.

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That means two options are now on the table. The original proposal bans right turns from Dereham Road into both Heigham Road and Old Palace Road, while the alternative option would retain the right turns from Dereham Road by revising the junction layout, including some road widening and a change to the phasing of the traffic lights.

Formal consultation on the proposals will begin in January, but before then people will be able to view the two options and talk to the project team at two drop-in sessions, as follows:

• Tuesday, December 6, between 8am and 7pm at the Belvedere Centre off Dereham Road.

• Thursday, December 15m between 2pm and 8pm, at City Church in Nelson Street.

The results of the New Year consultation will be reported back to the Norwich Highways Agency Committee for consideration and the committee will then decide how to go forward.

For further information on the proposals the project team can be contacted by emailing, or by telephoning 0344 800 8020.

• What do you think of the plans? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email

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