New £470k ring road crossing upgrade gets go-ahead - despite concerns

Boundary Road Norwich new crossing option

The B&Q crossing upgrade was chosen to go ahead. - Credit: Transport for Norwich

More than £470,000 is to be spent on a crossing to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to get over Norwich's busy ring road.

But the choice of scheme has come under fire, with criticism it is not in the best place for cyclists.

Two options for Boundary Road, between Mile Cross and Hellesdon, had been put forward by Transport for Norwich.

Council bosses initially only put forward one scheme, but, following criticism from county councillors, an alternative was suggested.

One option was to upgrade the junction at the B&Q car park, so it could be used by cyclists, while retaining the existing pedestrian crossing on Boundary Road near the junction with Vera Road.

The other option was to install a new cycle crossing connecting Vera Road to Rye Avenue, which would also retain the same existing crossing.

The crossings were put out to consultation and almost 60 people responded.

Boundary Road in Norwich

The Boundary Road crossing is to be upgraded. - Credit: Google Street View

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Just under 45pc of the public said they preferred the B&Q option and a little under 21pc liked the Vera Road scheme.

But almost 30pc said they preferred neither scheme and some 5pc were not sure.

The Norwich Society backed the Vera Road option, saying the other was too complicated and involved an "unpleasant wait on a refuge".

However, Transport for Norwich officers recommended councillors agree the B&Q upgrade option.

They said a "significant" number of people had raised concerns about the impact of the Vera Road option on the Salvation Army shop and the local community.

Members of the Transport for Norwich joint committee, made up of county, city and district councillors, backed the B&Q crossing upgrade.

The completion and opening of Norwich City Council’s new Rose Lane multi-storey car park in Mounterg

Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council cabinet member for sustainable development. - Credit: Steve Adams

However, Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council's cabinet member for sustainable development, said he felt the wrong scheme was picked and voted against it.

He said: "The alternative proposal - ie not B&Q - would be more convenient for cyclists.

"As a cyclist myself, where possible, you will take the shortest route and vote with your wheels.

"What concerns me is that, what might happen as a consequence, is cyclists might just choose not to use the crossing."

Funding will come from the £32m awarded to the Greater Norwich area, last year, through the Department for Transport's Transforming Cities Fund.