Drivers face major disruption with complete closure of city roundabout

The Grapes Hill roundabout in Norwich. Roadworks will begin there later this month.

Grapes Hill roundabout will be completely shut on the weekend of Novermber 20/21. - Credit: Archant © 2005

One of Norwich's busiest roundabouts is set to shut completely as part of a £330,000 revamp. 

Work to make changes to Grapes Hill roundabout and nearby Cleveland Road began at the end of August and is nearing completion.

Grapes Hill and Chapelfield roadworksByline: Sonya Duncan

The revamp work at Grapes Hill has triggered disruption and delays. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The work has caused disruption and queues, with no access to Unthank Road and Earlham Road from the roundabout.

But one of the last pieces of work will cause an even bigger headache for city centre drivers - because resurfacing and road marking work will mean the entire roundabout has to shut over part of a weekend.

The full closure of the roundabout will happen between 6.30pm on Saturday, November 20 and 6.30am on Monday, November 22.

Convent Road, between Grapes Hill and Unthank Road roundabouts, will be shut in both directions from 6.30pm on Saturday, November 20 until 6.30am on Thursday, November 25.

Norfolk County Council says it has sequenced the work, part of its Transport for Norwich projects, to minimise its impact as much as possible.

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But council officers acknowledged it will cause disruption and thanked people for their patience in advance of the work.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport. Picture: Dan

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Martin Wilby, chairman of the Transport for Norwich joint committee and county council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: “A closure of the area is needed for the work to take place and obviously this will cause disruption, so I’d like to ask all those travelling to the city that weekend to look at the webpage information, plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.

"All parts of the city and its car parks will remain accessible but journeys will take longer than usual while the closure is in place.

“I would like to thank everyone for their patience during this time. We’re still on track to complete construction towards the end of the month, when we will see an improvement to walking and cycling facilities, quicker and more reliable journeys for bus passengers, as well as better flow of general traffic.”

The council has said access to emergency services and all residents and businesses, including Chantry
Place shopping centre, will be maintained throughout.

Access to areas usually reached via Cleveland Road, including The Forum and St Giles car parks, will be diverted via St Benedicts Street, Wellington Lane, Pottergate and Cow Hill.

Access to areas usually reached via Chapelfield North will be diverted via St Stephens Street and Rampant Horse Street - with the ban on general traffic relaxed for that weekend.

Access to Chantry Place car park will also be diverted via that route.

A light-up rainbow outside a shopping centre with lots of people around it

Shoppers wanting to park at Chantry Place will face diversions. - Credit: Chantry Place

Access to Cleveland Road and Chapelfield North from Grapes Hill roundabout will be available again from 6.30am on Monday November 22 (southbound) and from 6.30am on Tuesday, November 23 (northbound).

During the closures, access between Earlham Road and Unthank Road will be restored.

Cleveland Road will remain one-way-only eastbound, heading away from the roundabout, until the scheme is complete towards the end of November.

The diversion for that will continue to be via St Giles Street and Exchange Street.

Convent Road from Grapes Hill roundabout to Unthank Road is now open until Saturday, November 20, when resurfacing starts.

Council officers say, when complete, the scheme will improve safety and ease congestion, but Norwich Cycling Campaign warned it would make the area less safe for cyclists.