Dutch design could inspire revamp of danger roundabout

Alison Birmingham and Tony Gray at Heartsease roundabout

Alison Birmingham, county councillor, with Tony Gray, who lives in Heartsease, at the busy Heartsease roundabout. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

One of Norwich's most notorious roundabouts could finally be replaced in a multi-million pound scheme - and campaigners say it is long overdue.

Council officers are drawing up plans for improvements to the Heartsease roundabout, which people in the area have long said is unsafe.

One options due to be tabled later this year is to transform it into Norwich's first Dutch-style roundabout.

A Dutch-style roundabout at the Transport Research Laboratory in Berkshire. Pic: Norwich City Counci

- Credit: Submitted

Such schemes have parallel cycle and zebra crossings on each arm, giving pedestrians and cyclists priority over drivers.

There have been calls for improvements at the Heartsease roundabout for years and, in particular, for pedestrian crossing points.

The Heartsease roundabout.

The busy Heartsease roundabout. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Tony Gray, 74, who lives in Valley Side Road, said he was keen to see improvements - but that it needed to be the right scheme.


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He said: "The roads weren't designed for the amount of traffic they have on them.

"We now have more traffic and more buses than ever before, but they've never done anything to cater for pedestrians.

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"There's only one crossing near the roundabout and that's only there because of Aldi."

Damage to the busy Heartsease roundabout, where there is a concern for people's safety. Picture: DEN

Damage to the Heartsease roundabout. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Former Colman's worker Mr Gray said he worried about the safety of schoolchildren going to and from the nearby Open Academy.

He added plans to build more housing at the former Pinebanks site would increase traffic further.

In 2017, there were five pedestrian casualties at the roundabout, the joint second highest of any junction in Norwich.

Norwich was awarded £32m through the government's Transforming Cities scheme, including £3.7m towards a £4.4m redesign of the roundabout.

A spokesperson for Transport for Norwich said: “We’re currently exploring several options for changes to Heartsease roundabout.

"One of which is a Dutch-style roundabout and this, along with the other potential options, is being assessed against a range of criteria such as impact on traffic flow and safety guidelines.

"Once each option has been explored in detail, a preferred scheme is due to be put forward for public consultation at the Transforming Cities Fund joint committee later this year.”

Alison Birmingham, Labour county councillor for Crome ward, said she would push for improvements.

And Alan Waters, Norwich City Council leader and Crome city councillor said: "I am looking forward to improvements around Heartsease roundabout to enable easier use by cyclists and pedestrians."

When the Catton Grove roundabout was revamped in 2016, the initial intention was for that to be a Dutch-style roundabout.

But those plans were changed, because land belonging to nearby homes would have had to be bought.

The first Dutch-style roundabout in the UK opened to traffic in Cambridge last summer.

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