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£1.3m city cycling shake-up could see Norwich streets closed to traffic

PUBLISHED: 11:10 02 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:52 02 June 2014

How a new contraflow cycle lane in Magdalen Street might look.

How a new contraflow cycle lane in Magdalen Street might look.

Norwich City Council

A £1.3m shake-up to make it easier for cyclists to get around Norwich could see motorists prevented from driving through a number of city roads, with 20mph limits introduced on more than two dozen more.

In proposals likely to prove contentious, officers at Norwich City Council have come up with schemes which could limit how drivers make their way through parts of Earlham and the Golden Triangle.

Suggestions include closing off one end of The Avenues to cars and preventing traffic, other than cycles, from using Park Lane to get between Earlham Road and Unthank Road. Another proposal would stop Vauxhall Street from being used as cut through to the ring road.

A number of proposals and options go out for consultation today, as part of the £5.7m Push The Pedalways project.

That project, awarded £3.7m by the Department of Health, aims to improve the eight-mile pink pedalway cycle route between the Norwich Research Park and Heartsease.

The public is being urged to have a say on the proposals.

Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council cabinet member for environment, development and transport, said: “Push the Pedalways is about enhancing the city so we want to hear how people feel about the options on offer - whether they are cyclists, nearby residents or other road users.

“By informing our decisions in this way, we hope it will result in changes that encourage more people to make a habit of cycling and walking, bringing the health and environmental benefits that come with it.”

In the months ahead, more consultations will be carried out in areas such as Earlham Road, Adelaide Street, Bethel Street, Tombland, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

• Do you have a view on the proposals? Why not submit a letter for publication by writing, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

THE AVENUES

The scheme in The Avenues is set to cost £800,000. Three options have been put forward. Two of them would see the road closed to traffic on the Colman Road side, after the George Borrow Road junction. Traffic could still get into the road via Bluebell Road.

Option one would also see the partial restoration of the verges, so cars could park on them, with a speed table and a cycle lane added to each carriageway.

Option two would see the speed table, but no new cycle lane. A key change, however, would be to prevent verge parking, so drivers would have to park on the street.

Option three would still allow traffic to travel all the way along The Avenues, but with a cycle lane on each side of the road, a speed table and traffic calming pinch-points.

In all the options, the 20mph limit on Bluebell Road would be moved to north of The Avenues junction. Twenty mile per hour speed limits would also be introduced on dozens of other streets, including North Park Avenue, George Borrow Road, Lovelace Road, Elizabeth Fry Road, Northfields, De Hague Road and Henderson Road.

Where The Avenues meet Colman Road, at the Burnett Square shops, further changes are planned, including extended waiting boxes on the cycle path in The Avenues and new traffic signals giving cyclists a few seconds to pull away before other traffic can continue.

The proposals also feature a cycle track connecting to a combined cyclist and pedestrian crossing on Colman Road just to the north of The Avenues and a new signal controlled crossing to the south of the Avenues.

After the consultation, work on this section could start in spring or summer next year.

PARK LANE/UNTHANK ROAD/VAUXHALL STREET/ESSEX STREET

Changes in the Park Lane/Vauxhall Street area would cost £200,000. The aims is to cut the amount of traffic using Avenue Road, Park Lane, Essex Street and Vauxhall Street, while making it easier for cyclists.

In Park Lane, three options have been proposed. Option one would see bollards placed in Park Lane, either side of the junction with Avenue Road, to stop traffic, other than bicycles, getting through.

Option two would close off Park Lane between the junction of Avenue Road and Mill Hill Road and make Park Lane one way only from Unthank Road up to the junction with Avenue Road.

Both those options would mean drivers could no longer use Park Lane to get between Earlham Road and Unthank Road.

The third option would not close any part of Park Lane, but would make the section between Unthank Road and Avenue Road one way.

In Unthank Road there are two options. Both involve a mini roundabout at the junction with Park Lane.

One option would take away the pedestrian crossing on the city centre side of Essex Street and put in a new zebra crossing over Unthank Road between the Park Lane and Essex Street junction.

The other option would see the existing pedestrian crossing upgraded. Both options would see the 20mph limit, which currently starts just before Tesco, extended further up Unthank Road towards the city centre.

Other proposals include traffic calming in Essex Street, preventing traffic from going all the way along Vauxhall Street (with a closure point near the Trory Street junction and making Rupert Street one way for traffic, other than cycles, so drivers could only head northbound along it.

Following consultation, work would be due to start in this area this autumn.

MAGDALEN STREET

A third consultation is for Magdalen Street and Cowgate.

A £250,000 scheme would see contra-flow cycling in Magdalen Street, between Edward Street and Bull Close Road, and in Cowgate, between Magdalen Street and Peacock Street.

That scheme has already been given the green light by city and county councillors and is now out for statutory consultation.


HOW TO HAVE YOUR SAY

Full details on the various schemes can be downloaded from Norwich City Council’s consultation pages here.

The website includes an online survey for The Avenues and the Park Lane to Vauxhall Street consultations, where people can share their views and select their preferred options.

There are also a number of events where people can drop in to view displays with full details of the proposals, as follows:

The Avenues: Wednesday, June 18 from 1pm until 6.45pm at the scout hut next to St Anne’s Church in Colman Road. Project staff will be available to answer questions and talk through the proposals throughout the day.

Park Lane to Vauxhall Street: Thursday, June 12 from 2pm until 6.45pm at Trinity Church Hall in Cambridge Street. Project staff will be available to answer questions and talk through the proposals.

Magdalen Street: For the statutory consultation, proposals for Magdalen Street will be on display in the cafe at Epic Studios in Magdalen Street from today until Monday, June 23.

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