Plans to remove crossing in £440k works branded 'crazy' by councillors
- Credit: Archant
Norwich's busy outer ring road could get almost £440,000 of improvements for cyclists and pedestrians, but councillors say it could come at the expense of the elderly and vulnerable.
Several proposals have been suggested for the Boundary Road area of Norwich, including new paths and road surfacing works, but also the removal of a pelican crossing on Boundary Avenue.
"They have said that only 80 people use that crossing a day and the proposal is that a crossing is put further up the road," said conservative councillor, Shelagh Gurney.
"This means that residents coming off from Mile Cross estate looking to use services like the Salvation Army will have to walk up to the B&Q and then walk back down.
"I think that's totally crazy and unreasonable - the majority of people who use that crossing are walking impaired, they're elderly, accessing facilities like the day centre, church and charity shops."
Ms Gurney said that officers need to consider the impact the plans will have on residents, which could add almost a quarter of a mile to a journey.
The comments were echoed by Labour county councillor, Chrissie Rumsby, who said the crossing could have seen reduced use while people were shielding.
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The proposals have been put forward as part of the Department for Transports Transforming Cities Fund, which has seen £32m awarded to the city for its roads network.
The transforming cities committee, which includes members of Norfolk, Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk councils, will decide on Thursday whether the scheme is ready for public consultation.
Ms Rumsby encouraged residents to give their views on the plans.
The cost of the project is expected to be £438,063, which includes a maintenance contribution for carriageway surfacing works of £98,063 and £40,000 for signalling upgrades.
The current plans are:
- New shared-use path connecting the B&Q junction to Overbury Road
- A path on the south side of Boundary Road will be extended to join with Marshall Road
- Crossing near B&Q will become two-stage right-turning lanes from the store will be reduced to one
- Waiting restrictions on the layby outside Marshall Road will allow residents to park to avoid parking on verges
- Cycle route signage will be provided to enhance the visibility of the route
A Norfolk County Council spokesperson said the proposals have been developed to help improve crossing facilities for those walking and cycling in the area.
“No decisions have yet been made on the outcome of the scheme – the outcome of a consultation, and any associated amendments, would be taken back to the joint committee later in the year for final consideration and approval.
"The purpose of the consultation would be to identify all relevant issues that would need to be considered.”