Norwich city centre roundabout revamp remains 'firmly in pipeline'

Picture by Mike Page.
Picture shows: St Stephens roundabout from the air at night

St Stephens roundabout from the air at night. - Credit: Mike Page

Revamping one of the busiest roundabouts on the edge of Norwich city centre remains a long-term goal, despite a funding blow, council bosses have said.

Radical plans to change the St Stephens Roundabout had formed part of Norfolk County Council's initial bid for £160m from the government's Transforming Cities fund.

Council officers had considered whether they could make major changes to the roundabout and its underpass, which they described as a "unattractive arrival experience for pedestrians" and as potentially "dangerous for cyclists to negotiate".

There had been suggestions that the roundabout could be 'opened up', so that it became more of an open air plaza, rather than have pedestrian routes in an underpass.

St Stephens underpass. Photo : Steve Adams

St Stephens Underpass

However, the council had to scale back its bid, with the St Stephens Roundabout plans among those dropped.

The government ended up awarding £32m.

Work is due to start in September on a £6.1m revamp of St Stephens Street, while consultation on changes to St Stephens Road has also been carried out.

But, at a meeting of the Transforming Cities joint committee, made up of county, city and district councillors, there were calls for St Stephens Roundabout to be looked at again.

County councillor Emma Corlett outside Vauxhall Centre, Johnson Place Norwich

Emma Corlett, Labour county councillor for Town Close in Norwich. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Emma Corlett, Labour county councillor for Town Close, described the roundabout as "the elephant in the room" - which would not be addressed by either of the revamp schemes.

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She said it was a shame the limited funding meant the plans for St Stephens roundabout and underpass could not go ahead yet.

She said "That is something that could have one of the biggest impacts on pedestrian safety and enjoyment in the area.

"I know we're not going to resolve that and there was not sufficient funding which came through to do something radical."

She said very little would change at the roundabout for pedestrians and cycling safety as a result, which she said was a "missed opportunity".

Norfolk County Council officer Jeremy Wiggin told the committee: "I think that is one for the future. It is in our pipeline. Some work had been done to identify some additional ideas for that.

"The fact it was in our original application shows that does sit firmly in our pipeline and does need addressing."