Norwich station crossing is a danger, say pedestrian groups

Pedestrian and transport groups took to the streets yesterday to highlight problems at what they call one of Norwich's most dangerous junctions.

The four-way crossing near Norwich Station where Riverside Road intersects with Thorpe Road and Prince of Wales Road is one of the city's busiest, especially during rush-hour periods.

But short traffic light timings mean that impatient pedestrians end up crossing between moving traffic, while those with mobility problems struggle to beat the lights.

That's according to members of the Norwich and Norfolk Traffic Action Group (NNTAG) and pedestrian organisation Living Streets, who were on the streets to raise awareness with Green city councillors yesterday.

John Peacock, Living Streets chairman, said the junction was symptomatic of a culture which favoured vehicles over pedestrians.

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'We've got this outdated idea that cars are on an important mission but people on foot are not,' he said.

'It's a very complex and dangerous junction for pedestrians, and has long been a hazardous area for cars.'

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John Woods, a member of NNTAG, said the green light signal to cross Riverside Road towards the station was just nine seconds long, with a full traffic light cycle taking two minutes.

He added the light phasing meant people were often left standing on the narrow traffic island on Riverside Road as cars flowed by.

Jo Henderson, Green city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, said that the crowding could lead to a serious accident.

'If someone was in a hurry for a train, and you are not in a car, you may well be risking your life,' she said.

Dick Catt, treasurer of the Norwich Access Group, said people in wheelchairs were especially vulnerable to be left stranded in the road because of the quick-changing lights.

'It's not so bad for people in motorised scooters, but those in wheelchairs don't have the same acceleration.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said the council was open to re-examining the traffic light timings to see if they could be improved, adding that other crossings were available if those closest to the station were overcrowded.

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