Reader letter: Norwich councillor defends city road changes

Prince of Wales Road would be closed to through traffic under the changes to roads in Norwich city c

Prince of Wales Road would be closed to through traffic under the changes to roads in Norwich city centre. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

I was surprised to read Eve Collishaw's letter 'Has money been wasted?' reacting to our proposals for Prince of Wales Road, not least because, as a former Conservative city councillor, I would have expected a better understanding of the issues.

She states that pedestrians have been ignored in favour of cyclists and cars, a bizarre claim when one considers the extent to which we have in recent years removed through traffic and widened the footways of city centre streets.

In addition to this, we have improved pedestrian safety by creating new crossing points and are rolling out a 20mph zone across the entire city centre. These existing improvements, and the proposed changes to Prince of Wales Road, which will not proceed until after a full review of traffic levels on the inner ring road and a thorough public consultation, are part of the same strategy of reducing traffic levels and making our city centre streets more pleasant places to be.

This is good for both pedestrians and businesses and helps us maintain and improve the prosperity and vibrancy of the city centre.

The suggestion that improvements on Prince of Wales Road benefit only 'drunken party people' is ludicrous; the road is very busy both night and day and the proposed changes are, in part, intended to encourage new and more diverse businesses into the area and thereby to support its overall improvement.

The new Rose Lane car park will provide a safe and convenient place for visitors to the area to park and it will continue to be accessible by car.

I fully acknowledge the inconvenience being caused by current work on the city centre traffic system, however change is necessary because of increased levels of car ownership and usage, which would completely clog up our medieval streets if we took no action.

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It is disappointing when critics, like Mrs Collishaw and many of her friends in the conservative party, fail to offer a coherent alternative. We would like to do more, including more to address the problem of pot holes, but sadly her conservative government cut the budget by 80pc.

Perhaps she could have a word with them for us?

•Mike Stonard, Labour, Catton Grove Ward, Cabinet Member for Resources and income Generation, Member of Norwich Highways Agency Committee, St Peter's Street, Norwich