Bid to keep buses running through Norwich street

Sarah HallAn experimental traffic order is to be introduced in a Norwich street - to stop bus bosses pulling one of the city's best used bus services out of it.Sarah Hall

An experimental traffic order is to be introduced in a Norwich street - to stop bus bosses pulling one of the city's best used bus services out of it.

First Eastern Counties warned that, because cars were being parked so poorly in Northfields, in Earlham, buses were struggling to get through.

The number 35 route from the city centre to the University of East Anglia is one of the most frequent in Norwich, but buses have sometimes been held up because cars are parked in their way.

Now council bosses have decided to take rapid action to stop First from pulling out of the street by introducing an 18-month order, which will introduce two bus clearways and a number of double yellow lines.

By treating the order as an experiment, council officers will be able to get the scheme brought in more quickly to help appease angry bus officials.

Meanwhile, after discussions between council officers and First, the bus company has decided to re-route the city bound journey, so buses avoid meeting in George Borrow Road.

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Instead of the route leaving George Borrow Road on to the Avenues, it will instead leave the road where it meets Colman Road.

The traffic order was agreed yesterday at a meeting of the Norwich Highways Agency Committee, which is made up of city and county councillors.

At a meeting in January, a member of the public raised fears over the future of the 35 service and officers conceded yesterday that had been the 'catalyst' for action.

Bert Bremner, Labour city and county councillor for University ward, said 97pc of people who responded to a survey by his party wanted the bus to keep going down Northfields.

He said: 'We support this fully and are really pleased it is coming forward, but it is sad that it looks like a response to a question raised last time, when there has clearly been a lot of work beforehand.'

But committee chairman Tony Adams, Conservative councillor for Drayton and Horsford, rebuked Mr Bremner for that criticism and said: 'We heard First were threatening to withdraw the service and we asked the officers to act with expediency. Far from criticism, I believe they deserve praise.'

Adrian Ramsay, Green city councillor for Nelson ward, said after the meeting: 'Many residents of Northfields rely on having this local bus service for getting around the city and doing their shopping.

'It's crucial that this service is protected and I'm delighted that the council is taking action to help following lobbying by residents and councillors.'

The Evening News contacted First Eastern Counties to ask if the decision meant the 35 service would continue to use Northfields, but nobody was available to comment.

What's your view on the city's bus services? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email