Norwich roadworks to resume after Christmas break
- Credit: Nick Butcher
After a three month break for the festive period, roadworks in the city centre are to the return in the New Year with major projects due to take place across the city.
Traffic will be banned from more Norwich streets from next month, in the final phase of a multi- million pound shake-up which has been running for nearly a year.
During this period the city centre had been described as a 'no-go zone' and some of the work took longer than anticipation due to mistakes - including nearly a month of disruption after a misplaced traffic island had to be moved eight metres down a hill.
Work will resume on the Transport for Norwich projects around John Lewis on All Saints Green and on Newmarket Road - one of the city's major routes for people travelling to and from the south of the county on the A11.
Council leaders have said the work to the city centre will be 'great for shoppers and workers' but there is concern among some businesses that the changes will lead to congestion.
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There are also a number of smaller projects taking place in the first few months of 2017 to repair damage to infrastructure including manholes, pipe work and telecommunications masts.
From Tuesday January 3 All Saints Street and part of All Saints Green will be permanently closed to all traffic, as part of the Transport for Norwich project, which means that all southbound traffic on Golden Ball Street will only be able to get to the inner ring road via Ber Street.
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And the following month, drivers will face extra disruption. From Monday February 6 until Sunday February 12 the junction of Ber Street, Golden Ball Street and Timer Hill will be temporarily closed from 7pm to 7am each night.
There had been concern amongst business owners during previous road closures but many traders on Ber Street admitted that they don't think their footfall will be affected this time but are worried about increased congestion.
Chris Potter, of Chris Potter Golf, said: 'There will obviously be more cars coming down here which is not necessarily a bad thing but over the last few days it has been chaos with people trying to get in the car parks.
'And I think the fact that the road has been narrowed has led to more congestion but with the cars going past the shop so fast I don't see how it will improve our trade.'
Rob Foley, of Bonds Used Cars, added: 'It can have some impact on trade as people think it will take longer to get where they need to be but I don't think we will feel too much of an affect up this end of the road, it may even increase footfall.'
The beginning of 2017 will also see work start on a shared-use pedestrian and cycle path in Newmarket Road which will see Branksome Road, Leopold Road, Camberley Road and Claremont Road closed at the junction of Newmarket Road for a period of time during the 13-week project which starts on January 4.
Norwich City Councillor Bert Bremner admitted that there is never a correct time for roadworks but said the benefits will outweigh the disruption.
'There's never an ideal time to carry out significant work to busy roads but we feel that the overall benefits will outweigh any relatively short-term disruption,' he said. 'We very much appreciate people's patience while the projects are under construction.'
He added: 'The result will be simpler, faster routes for cyclists on Newmarket Road, an important link into Norwich, and a city centre environment which is great for shoppers and workers and where local businesses can continue to go from strength to strength, contributing to a thriving local economy.'
Where the roadworks are taking place
1. All Saints Green area: From January 3, all southbound traffic on Golden Ball Street will only be able to get to the inner ring road via Ber Street and from February 6 until February 12, the junction of Ber Street, Golden Ball Street and Timber Hill will be temporarily closed from 7pm to 7am each night. Diversions will be in place.
2. King Street: From January 18 to January 24 the road will be shut from the junction with Prince of Wales Road to Rose Lane due to gas service installation work.
3. Plumstead Road East: From its junction with Aerodrome Road to outside No.64 will be closed from January 16 to March 10 due to the installation of pipe work.
4. Edward Street: From 7pm to 11pm on January 4 it will be closed eastbound from New Botolph Road to Magdalen Street.
5. Hobart Lane: The road will be shut at the Hall Road junction for eight hours on January 4.
6. Newmarket Road area: Branksome Road and Leopold Road will be closed at their junctions with Newmarket Road from January 4 until April 7. Camberley Road and Claremont Road will be closed at their junction with Newmarket Road from January 4 to Friday 24. Diversions will be in place.
7. Thornfield Way: From January 3 until January 24 the road will be closed at the Paine Road junction due to water works.
8. Trinity Street: At the junction with Unthank Road traffic will be prohibited from park, stopping and loading from January 3 until July 2 2018 due to demolition and construction work.