Fears £2.25m railway station road shake-up could spark rat-running

Upper Crust has a branch at Norwich railway station. Photo: Archant

Norwich Railway Station.

Concerns have been raised that a £2.25m shake-up to improve the area around Norwich Railway Station could lead to rat-running in nearby streets.

The proposals for the area around the station, including Thorpe Road and Foundry Bridge, will see priority lanes for buses, taxis and cyclists, new pedestrian routes and reduced speed limits.

General traffic in a city centre direction will be banned from using Thorpe Road, between Lower Clarence Road and Foundry Bridge, with a bus, taxi and cycle lane created there.

There would also be no left turn into Riverside from Thorpe Road.

Council officers have said traffic would be diverted via Carrow Road/Canary Way/Koblenz Avenue and Riverside.

But it has prompted concerns that drivers might instead rat-run through Rosary Road, Chalk Hill Road and St Matthews Road.

At a meeting of the Transforming Cities joint committee, made up of county, city and district councillors on Thursday, June 10, those concerns were raised by Green city and county councillor Ben Price, who represents Thorpe Hamlet.

Ben Price, city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet and chair of the audit committee. Picture: Norwich Gree

Ben Price, Green city and county councillor for Thorpe Hamlet. - Credit: Norwich Greens

He said: "My politics is very much about being supportive of active travel and a lot in this scheme should be welcomed.

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"But I do have a lot of concerns and reservations about this. I have met with a lot of residents who would be impacted by it

"I am quite disappointed by it - it is one size fits none."

Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council's cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth. Picture:

Labour city councillor Mike Stonard. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

Mike Stonard, Labour Norwich city councillor, questioned whether drivers would use the official alternative route.

He said: "We are in danger of creating a situation for the residents and I can understand their concerns."

A proposal to make St Matthews Road and Chalk Hill Road one-way to reduce potential rat-running received what Norfolk County Council officers described as a "mixed response".

County council officer Jeremy Wiggin said there would be further talks with people in St Matthews Road, Chalk Hill Road and other streets about putting in "appropriate traffic management".

He said: "We will ensure funding is set aside to make sure any mitigation issues are tackled and dealt with."

The committee agreed to the scheme by four votes to one, with three abstentions.