Q&A: Why Cattle Market Street in Norwich has closed for three weeks
- Credit: Victoria Pertusa
The closure of Cattle Market Street in Norwich for three weeks has caused drivers headaches, with queues and diversions. DAN GRIMMER asks officers from Transport for Norwich about the work.
What does the work involve?
David Wardale (inset below right), project manager: 'The main element of this phase is to remove the existing crossing, which had a central island. We want to do that so we can get some space to widen the pavements either side.
'The intention is that we get an uphill cycle lane which will join to existing facilities in Cattle Market Street. By getting the widened pavements, we can run the cycle lane behind the crossing, which will just be a single crossing at this juncture.'
He said the wider pavements will also have the effect of naturally slowing down traffic in what is a 20mph zone.
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Mr Wardale said efforts had been made to keep the closure, which only affects traffic going downhill, to a minimum.
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What will be the benefits?
Ted Leggett (inset right), Norwich City Council's city network co-ordinator: 'The key win is that, for anybody coming from the south or east of the city, you've effectively got an avenue of five car parks, plus Riverside, that are a lot easier to access.
'But more importantly, especially with Rose Lane, it will be easier to leave. By the time the project is finished at Mountergate, you will be able to turn right towards the train station, rather than having to come all the way around the city.
'In terms of pedestrians, it's a much more attractive avenue coming all the way into the city. We've given more crossing points at desire lines, such as down at the bottom where there used to be no crossing but people crossed there anyway.
'For cyclists, the key win is that coming up Cattle Market Street you don't have to stop. At the moment there's a crossing point where you have to stop on a hill.'
What about the impact on drivers during the work?
Mr Leggett: 'Congestion is never fun for anybody. However, it has run as expected. Unfortunately on the first night [Monday] we had an emergency gas situation on King Street which backed everything up a little bit more.
'We are quite confident that it's going as well as it can.
'However, we do understand it is difficult for road users when there is a closure, but I think people are aware of it now and are moving around the city in different ways.
Thorn Lane has been reopened as part of the diversion work. Could that be reopened permanently?
Mr Leggett said it was too early to say if that was feasible. But he said once the whole scheme is complete and, if there was feedback that it might be beneficial, it could be looked at.