Fears new road plans could put schoolchildren in danger

Fears raised over new road plans by council leading to more traffic near Hewett School

Fears have been raised over the new road plans, leading to more traffic to Cecil Road, causing danger to school children. - Credit: Submitted

Students could be put at risk by a decision to ban vehicles turning into a Norwich road, according to a campaigner.

Under changes implemented by Norfolk County Council, traffic will be prevented from entering Grove Road, raising concerns about extra vehicles going into Cecil Road.

Simon Warsop, who lives near the Trafford Arms Pub in Grove Road, has first hand experience of how busy the area gets throughout the day.

The Trafford Arms may be affected by more traffic with new council road layout.

The Trafford Arms, where a lot of traffic already files out of the city from, could become much busier with the new road layout. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

He said: "You already see so much traffic heading out of the city. There's a set of traffic lights where Grove Road meets Ipswich Road and that's why everyone cuts through Grove Avenue.

"If you shut down the option for cars to go into Grove Road or Avenue, it's going to push all the traffic to Cecil Road.

"That road gets busy enough as it is with hundreds of school children passing through day-to-day.

"The slightest mistake or lapse in concentration from a child if they're on their phone and wander into the road or just don't pay attention, you fear the worst could happen."

Grove Avenue is used by drivers to cut into Grove Walk.

Grove Avenue is currently used by some drivers to cut through into Grove Walk. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

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The changes from the council are to make the St Stephens Road area safer, which Mr Warsop has no objections to, but believes certain protests have been ignored.

He said: "There were many objections to the changes from myself and many other residents during the consultation.

"So I was quite surprised when the plans still just went through without any evidence to suggest our fears weren't warranted - we've not even heard what objections were brought up."

Simon Warsop believes new road layouts by the council will put children at risk

Simon Warsop, director of special projects at Aviva, believes the new road layouts put forth by the council will endanger children leaving school. - Credit: Simon Warsop

Martin Wilby, chairman of the transport for Norwich joint committee and Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “We’ve revised proposals for the St Stephens Road area twice following feedback from previous public consultations on measures to improve it for the many people who walk and cycle there.

"The proposal for Grove Avenue was changed after comments received from residents - so that the one-way will now be heading away from, rather than towards, Ipswich Road.

"This, combined with traffic analysis showing the impact on Cecil Road should be minimal, means we feel we’ve found the right balance of addressing local concerns while still delivering the benefits promised for walking and cycling as part of our transforming cities-funded programme.”