Dangerous roundabout changes put on hold as decision on major transport cash bid nears
PUBLISHED: 16:32 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:22 11 February 2020
Moves to improve safety at a city roundabout have been paused to await the outcome of a major funding bid next month.
There have long been calls for improvements at the Heartsease fiveways roundabout and, in particular, to add crossing points for pedestrians.
Government data published last year showed there were five pedestrian casualties in 2017 at the roundabout, the joint second highest of any junction in Norwich.
John Fisher, district and county councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, said navigating the roundabout from St Williams Way as a pedestrian was an issue he was well aware of, and that people living nearby had long called for a crossing closer to the roundabout.
He said he had hoped to widen the existing, small traffic island on the approach to the roundabout, but that he and a fellow county councillor were waiting for the outcome of the Transforming Cities funding application, which has been lodged by Norwich City Council.
"We do have residents of Thorpe St Andrew come to our councillor surgeries or ring us and they do ask for a crossing closer to the roundabout on St Williams Way," he said.
"It is a busy roundabout and that does mean that doing anything to it is a major job."
He said a number of utility services, such as electric, cable and water, were within immediate vicinity of the roundabout, which would have to be taken into account if and when work took place.
If successful, the Transforming Cities bid would enable the council to make wide-ranging improvements to Norwich's transport network, focusing on sustainable and low carbon transport.
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The Greater Norwich area was awarded just over £6m in the first tranche of money from the government's fund last year, but Transport for Norwich officers are now looking to the end of March, when the decision will be made on the next round of funding.
They hope they will receive millions more, from the £1.2bn fund.
A spokesperson for Transport for Norwich said: "We recognise the current roundabout causes delays and is difficult for cycles and pedestrians to navigate.
"We are currently waiting on a major funding decision from central government and if this is approved we will then consider options to improve it."