Major £330k revamp mooted for busy city roundabout

The Grapes Hill roundabout taffic lights could be removed under a new scheme. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Grapes Hill roundabout taffic lights could be removed under a new scheme. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

One of the busiest roundabouts in Norwich city centre is poised to get a £330,000 revamp.

New pedestrian crossings and extended cycle paths have been included in a traffic shake-up of the roundabout at the top of Grapes Hill, which serves thousands of cars and hundreds of buses each day.

And it is hoped that removing a number of the existing traffic lights on it will help improve journey times in and out of the city.

The proposals are the latest to be put forward as part of the Department for Transports Transforming Cities Fund, which has seen £32m awarded to the city for its roads network.

Norfolk County Councillor Martin Wilby on one of the Beryl bikes. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Norfolk County Councillor Martin Wilby on one of the Beryl bikes. Picture: Lauren De Boise. - Credit: Archant

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County council's cabinet member for highways, said: "The Grapes Hill roundabout is one of the busiest junctions in Norfolk, serving several major bus routes, while also seeing high levels of walking, cycling and general traffic.


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"Significant delays can be caused to buses and motorists at peak times and crossing facilities are limited.

"This proposal seeks to encourage more people to use public transport by reducing delays for buses and improving journey reliability, which would be achieved by removing a number of the traffic signal controls currently in place.

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"New crossing facilities would make walking and cycling safer and more accessible and delays for general traffic would also be reduced."

The move would see all traffic lights on the roundabout removed with exception of the lights at the Chapel Field North and Cleveland Road approaches - a move that has long since been debated.

During works to the junction in 2014, the lights were briefly switched off - a period during which some motorists felt improved traffic flow.

A new toucan crossing would be added to Convent Road, with the cycle path on the same road extended.

Officers also considered making Chapel Field North a bus-only route heading out of the city, but it was thought the benefits to public transport this posed would be outweighed by the negative impact on other road-users.

Mr Wilby added: "Extensive traffic modelling has been carried out and a number of options explored in bringing this proposal forward, which is key to First Bus UK's significant fleet investment under our wider transforming cities programme."

The transforming cities committee, which includes members of Norfolk, Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk councils, will decide on Thursday where the scheme is ready for public consultation.

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