Safety fears sparked over new £400,000 bus lane
- Credit: Sophie Wyllie
Calls are being made for urgent changes on a busy road because of safety fears from a new controversial £400,000 bus lane.
The upgrade to the section of the A140 Cromer Road from Fifers Lane and Mayfield Avenue, Hellesdon, which involved putting in a 24/7 bus lane on the city-bound side, was finished around two weeks ago.
Before it was approved by the Transforming Cities joint committee, made up of county, city and district councillors, 457 people objected to the plans, according to Shelagh Gurney, who represents Hellesdon North West on Broadland District Council and the town on Norfolk County Council.
Double yellow lines have now been painted on the side of the road where the bus lane is.
Mrs Gurney said: "I'm hearing that people have had near misses and shunts. The committee has created a very concerning and dangerous scenario on Cromer Road for all vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
"I don't think this situation is sustainable and needs to be reviewed and I'm going to push the powers that be.
"The only nice thing we have got is a nice new road surface. If modifications to the road are not done we are going to see some serious ramifications."
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Before the road was changed, it included one road into the city and one towards the A140.
Mrs Gurney added cars had to go into oncoming traffic due to vehicles parking on the side of the road where there are no double yellow lines.
She said there was not enough room in the new lanes if a bus went past a large HGV and believed the bus lane should only be used by public transport in peak times.
Martin Wilby, chairman of the Transport for Norwich joint committee and cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: "While the existing layout isn’t creating conflict between traffic, additional lining work is due to take place early next year to help drivers get into the appropriate lane on the approach to the junction at an earlier point.
"Early indications are that this is already reducing bus journey times by two-to-three minutes along this section of the network.
"Central government guidance is that local authorities install them on a full-time basis."