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Norwich’s inner ring road could need changes due to extra pressure from multi-million pound traffic shake-ups

PUBLISHED: 17:21 30 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:43 31 December 2017

Traffic on the inner ring road, near St Augustines, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Traffic on the inner ring road, near St Augustines, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Changes could be made to Norwich’s inner ring road in the light of extra pressure created by traffic shake-ups elsewhere in the city - but council bosses concede there is no money readily available to pay for it.

John Fisher, Conservative county councillor. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.John Fisher, Conservative county councillor. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Millions of pounds of work has been done in and around the city centre over the past two years, as part of the Transport for Norwich scheme, while the Norwich Northern Distributor Road is due to be completed this year.

Changes have been made in areas such as Ber Street, Golden Ball Street, Westlegate, All Saints Green, Rampant Horse Street, St Stephens Street, Tombland and Grapes Hill and more changes, including to Prince of Wales Road, are in the pipeline.

While council leaders have said the changes were needed to preserve the city centre and were designed to direct traffic to car parks, the changes have been criticised by some.

Jarrold’s Peter Mitchell, chairman of the Norwich Business Improvement District, and the organisation’s executive director Stefan Gurney, had both raised concerns over the impact of the changes on the city’s inner ring road.

The inner ring road includes the likes of Chapel Field Road, Grapes Hill, Barn Road and Queens Road.

And, in the summer, council officers started work on what has been called the inner ring road junction review, which saw data on traffic movements collected.

It included two days (a Saturday and a Tuesday) of camera surveys and about two weeks of automatic counters (tubes across the road).

Following the recent city centre changes, the aim of it is to identify the junctions on the inner ring road that should be prioritised for potential improvements.

Analysis is due to be completed in the next three months, but the council says it is too early to say what specific schemes may be proposed.

Any schemes would have to be paid for via applications to the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.

John Fisher, chairman of Norwich Highways Agency committee, said: “We want to get the most out of our transport network and this means making informed choices about where to invest.

“Data collected from the recent survey of our inner ring road will be used to prioritise areas for potential improvement so any future projects represent value for money and a positive impact on the flow of traffic around Norwich.”

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