March 7 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Campaigners protesting over the way Norwich City Council reached decisions which would see a shake-up of how traffic uses the city centre will have to convince a judge to investigate.
Members of the Chapelfield Action Group had hoped a High Court judge would allow a judicial review of the council’s decision to make Chapel Field North two-way in an attempt to improve bus journey times.
That proposal is part of a £1.45m city centre traffic plan and would see the removal of a pavement on the south side of Chapel Field North closest to Chapelfield Gardens.
The proposal would also see St Stephens Street and part of Surrey Street closed to traffic, with transport bosses saying it will speed up bus times and ease congestion. The proposals would also see a bus lane introduced in Grapes Hill.
The Norwich Highways Agency Committee approved the plans in March last year.
But the campaign group launched legal action challenging the decision, arguing the consultation period was inadequate, they were not aware of the proposed changes to traffic and the evidence supporting the plans was inadequate.
While the group said it was in favour of much of the plan, it was not happy with elements which “adversely affect” the city centre in Chapel Field North, Grapes Hill and Upper St Giles.
The start date of the scheme has been put on hold, pending the outcome of the legal challenge.
And it has emerged that the campaigners are next month due to come face to face with a High Court judge to convince them there should be a judicial review.
Joanne Deverick, transportation and network manager at Norwich City Council, said: “An initial ruling by a judge has said that the grounds for the judicial review are inarguable.
“However, the claimant has exercised his right to request an oral hearng to determine whether permission should, in fact, be granted.
“If permission is granted, then the claims will proceed to a substantive hearing. The oral hearing is due to take place in February and the council awaits the court’s decision before acting further on the proposals.”
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