A controversial £2.8m traffic shake-up, which was linked to the closure of a street which council leaders have just decided to reopen, will still go ahead.

And that will stop drivers from using one of the last remaining routes to get across Norwich city centre without using the ring road.

The closure of Exchange Street in Norwich to general traffic was part of a bigger project called Connecting The Norwich Lanes, which officers at Norfolk County Council put forward two years ago.

Norwich Evening News: Charing Cross in Norwich, looking towards St Andrews Street.Charing Cross in Norwich, looking towards St Andrews Street. (Image: Denise Bradley)

As well as making the temporary closures of Exchange Street and St Benedicts Street permanent, that project also proposed making St Andrews Street one-way only westwards for general traffic and Charing Cross one-way only eastwards.

That would mean drivers heading east from Westwick Street will no longer be able to use St Andrews Street to get to Bank Plain and on to Prince of Wales Road, as they would not be able to get any further than the Duke Street junction.

And, despite the decision to reopen Exchange Street - taken by council leaders amid concerns around safety and enforcement - County Hall remains committed to the St Andrews Street changes, which are due to go ahead in autumn next year.

Norwich Evening News: Exchange Street in NorwichExchange Street in Norwich (Image: Denise Bradley)

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It will mean traffic on Exchange Street will have to turn left and down Duke Street, with right turns into St Andrews Street there banned.

The project will also see wider footpaths and two-way cycle tracks installed on Charing Cross, St Andrews Street and Duke Street.

The closure of St Benedicts Street to traffic has also been made permanent.

Norwich Evening News: Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructureGraham Plant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure (Image: Jamie HoneywoodArchantNorwichNorfolk)

Graham Plant, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said:  “We still have every intention of continuing with our project to deliver active travel improvements in the north of the city centre, particularly in the Duke Street and St Andrews Street area.

"This will include enhancing the look and feel of the area, widening footways, providing additional walking and cycling crossing points and installing cycle tracks.

"Progress on some slight changes to the design of the Exchange Street junction are under way and we plan to advertise the traffic regulation orders needed to carry out the work next year."