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Bid to ease Dereham Road £1.5m bus scheme fears

A bid to speed up buses is going back to the drawing board.

A bid to speed up buses is going back to the drawing board.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

Fresh proposals to enable a rapid bus transit route to be created on one of Norwich’s busiest roads will come under the spotlight next week.

The city and county councils are keen to introduce six bus corridors, which officers say would encourage operators to provide higher quality, faster and more reliable bus services.

They selected Dereham Road as the street where the first phase of the scheme would be introduced and £1.5m is available to pay for it through ring-fenced funding from the Greater Norwich Development Partnership.

While the bulk of the plan was approved back in March, families were unhappy about the element which would see a ban on right turns into Old Palace Road from Dereham Road, heading out of the city, or into Heigham Road for cars heading into the city.

The committee agreed that element of the project should be put on hold and asked officers to carry out further consultation to try to find alternative schemes.

At a meeting of Norwich Highways Agency Committee on Thursday, the options will be unveiled and councillors asked to consider that a “workshop” with families who live nearby is held “to consider the implications of the various options”.

While the options will not be revealed until the meeting, the report which will go before councillors states: “One of the options includes a solution that would retain right turns from Dereham Road, whilst reducing delays for buses on Dereham Road, although queues on Old Palace Road would be slightly longer than at present. This option would be achieved by localised carriageway widening and, whilst it would not provide as much of a benefit for buses as the scheme that was consulted on earlier in the year, it does provide a compromise solution.”

Also up for discussion is extra car parking spaces in Exeter Street, to make up for the ones which would be lost outside the shops there because of the new bus lane, although traders argue that is not adequate compensation.

Are you trying to get improvements made to the street where you live? Tell us your story by calling Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk


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