Drivers face further disruption as Norwich city centre roadworks extended to John Lewis
- Credit: Steve Adams
Drivers are facing even more disruption as work continues on a year-long £3m project which will shake-up how traffic uses Norwich city centre.
Work started in Rouen Road last month as part of the Transport for Norwich scheme. The road is closed at its junction with Golden Ball Street/Cattle Market Street/Farmers Avenue.
But the work has now been extended along Golden Ball Street, with diggers working outside John Lewis and the road towards Westlegate down to one lane.
Ultimately, the work will see Golden Ball Street made two-way. That will allow for work later this year and early next year to remove general traffic from Westlegate, All Saints Green and Red Lion Street.
By late spring next year, the completed scheme will see major changes to traffic flows, the creation of more pedestrian areas, and the removal of traffic lights and kerbside barriers at a number of junctions in the area around Farmers Avenue, Golden Ball Street, All Saints Street and All Saints Green, Westlegate, St Stephens Plain and Red Lion Street.
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Steve Morphew, chairman of the Norwich Highways Agency Committee, said, when the work initially started: 'This scheme will make life easier for drivers heading for car parks, but we're conscious there will be short term inconvenience for people travelling in the Golden Ball Street and Rouen Road area while the work is being done.
'I apologise for that and ask people to be patient. Please plan your journeys allowing extra time while the work is underway as everyone is having to adjust.
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'The result will be simpler faster routes and attractive traffic free spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. It will help support our businesses and those who we want to visit and enjoy Norwich.'
However, the project has attracted criticism. Last year, Peter Mitchell, chairman of the city's Business Improvement District and managing director of Jarrold, expressed concerns about 'a lack of congestion figures' during a meeting which approved plans for the ban on traffic in parts of the city centre.
He added: 'I remain really concerned that the ring road does not have the capacity to deal with the traffic at the moment. It's premature and reckless.'