Pledge that Norwich roadworks will not hamper Christmas shopping

Roadworks in Norwich

Labour county councillor Emma Corlett (inset) has sought reassurances that roadworks in Norwich, such as these ones on Grapes Hill roundabout, will not disrupt Christmas shopping. - Credit: Sonya Duncan / Brittany Woodman

Highways bosses behind roadworks across Norwich have said schemes will be completed or suspended so they do not interfere with Christmas shopping.

Concerns over roadworks taking place simultaneously in the city were raised at a council meeting on Thursday (October 21).

Councillor Emma Corlett

Emma Corlett, Labour county councillor for Town Close. - Credit: Archant

While discussing proposals for a £100,000 scheme in Ipswich Road, Emma Corlett, Labour county councillor for Town Close, said she was worried roadworks were making it difficult for people to get into the city centre.

She said: "There is a cumulative impact of lots of different road schemes all coming to fruition at the same time."

With work on Grapes Hill roundabout already shutting Unthank Road in one direction, she said there was a risk work could happen on most routes from the south of Norwich to the city centre at the same time.

Grapes Hill and Chapelfield roadworksByline: Sonya Duncan

Unthank Road is currently closed in one direction from the Grapes Hill roundabout. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Speaking at the joint committee for Transport for Norwich, Ms Corlett said: "It's causing significant disruption to bus travel already, which makes it difficult for people to get back from the city safely at night."

She sought reassurance that disruption would not hit city shops over the Christmas period.

She said: "I know, with the last couple of years retailers have had, that they are really banking on people getting in and out of city smoothly, we hope on public transport and on park and ride."

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Jeremy Wiggin, Transport for Norwich manager, said work was being co-ordinated as carefully as possible.

He said: "While it does create a headache, it's fair to say, for those who use the network, it is coordinated to the best of our ability."

He added: "Where possible, in the lead up to Christmas, we try and remove as many roadworks and maintenance works off the network as we can, so the month of December can be kept as clear as it possibly can be.

"That's true of all the works we have got on the network at the moment. They are all scheduled to finish before December."

The committee agreed to some elements of the Ipswich Road scheme, including cutting the speed limit to 20mph and replacing an existing pedestrian island, between Ipswich Grove and Grove Avenue, with a zebra crossing.

The Ipswich Road in Norwich near to City College, looking toward the city centre. Picture: DENISE B

Ipswich Road in Norwich. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Other proposals there, including new cycle lanes, were put on hold pending further consideration.