Anger as Norwich last on list for £1m road safety schemes

An experimental 20mph limit in part of Norwich has been made permanent. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY.

Road safety schemes in Norwich will only be done in the final year of a £1m project. - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHI

Norwich is at the bottom of the list when it comes to locations where a hundred roads in Norfolk will be made safer over the next four years.

And Norfolk County Council cabinet's decision to put other parts of the county ahead of the city has been slammed by a councillor.

The Conservative-controlled cabinet at County Hall agreed on Monday to create a new £1m fund for the schemes.

The small-scale, community focused schemes will see up to £10,000 spent on each project to bring about road safety improvements, such as lower speed limits and changes to signs.

But the first work will be done in West Norfolk, followed by North and East Norfolk, South Norfolk and, in the final year, Norwich.

Graham Plant, deputy leader of the county council said the money would be particularly useful for areas which could not make use of the authority's Parish Partnerships Fund, where parish councils bid for a slice of cash to make improvements.

Green city councillor Ben Price. Picture: Norwich City Council

Green city and county councillor Ben Price. - Credit: Norwich City Council

But Ben Price, Green county and city councillor, questioned why Norwich should be the last area to get improvements.

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He said: "I welcome the introduction of the new road safety community fund which could make a real difference in saving lives across the county.

"However, I am perplexed that Norwich, as the biggest urban area, has been pushed to the back of the queue for this vital funding, and significantly, after the next county elections.

"This suggests that the Conservative administration are prioritising their home areas and neglecting those areas which are less likely to vote Conservative. They seem to be playing politics with people's lives in Norwich.

"I hope that council will reconsider cabinet's decision and bring forward this vital funding for the city."

The council says about 20 to 30 schemes could be put in place each year, with the first improvements completed about a year from now.

Officers said rolling out schemes in geographical areas was more efficient and would save money.

The cabinet also agreed to make an extra £10m available over the next four years to fix pot-holes.

Pot-holes were behind the bulk of £250,000 compensation claims made to the county council.