Plea to ease Earlham Road woes follows street closure

A plea has gone out to help relieve congestion woes on a Norwich street after two weeks of roadworks were greeted by some as a reprieve to traffic trouble.

A plea has gone out to help relieve congestion woes on a Norwich street after two weeks of roadworks were greeted by some as a reprieve to traffic trouble.

Peter Clarke, secretary of Earlham Road Residents' Association, has called for new signs to be erected to direct traffic down other routes toward popular destinations such as Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Last month, part of the Earlham Road from the Fiveways intersection to Wilberforce Road was closed down for resurfacing works, which he claims lead to a decline in congestion.

'I've had to gear my visits into town in terms of avoiding these queues, otherwise you end up trapped either on your way out or on your way back,' he said.


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Figures recorded in 2007 showed that on weekdays just under 1,000 vehicles an hour used the road.

'When the part of the road was closed, it showed that other routes were available and could be taken,' he added.

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It has seen increasing use since the growth of the UEA and the move of the hospital from the centre of the city in the 90s. The 76-year-old claimed such development had lead to daily periods of heavy traffic.

Accepting the route would remain a main one, he said new signs to the hospital could be put up on Dereham Road for a route heading through Bowthorpe and onto Watton Road, with drivers could also made aware of a Newmarket Road route onto Colney Lane.

Mr Clarke also said that there was a lack of co-ordination and long term planning between Norfolk County council, Norwich City Council and South Norfolk Council over the wider impact of major developments such as the hospital move.

'Those in places like Long Stratton might not take an interest, but there needs to be an increase in overall awareness from those in the local councils,' he added.

The Earlham Road Residents' Association has had successes including stopping parking on the grass verges, while Mr Clarke has also campaigned against signs for the UEA that he said pointed the wrong way.

However, a spokesman for Norfolk County Council knocked back the suggestion, saying extra signs would not make have a 'significant effect' and commenting that 'high traffic flow' was 'inevitable'. He added the closures had led to complaints about missed hospital appointments.

•Is your road a traffic nightmare? Contact John Owens on 01603 772439.

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