Norwich road re-opening delayed by hitches

Council bosses have admitted that a �3.3m scheme to revamp a busy Norwich road has been delayed, but said the new-look street system should be up and running by the end of this month.

St Augustine's Street closed to traffic in July to allow work to be carried out on a scheme known as the St Augustine's Gyratory scheme.

That scheme, an integral part of the revamp of the Anglia Square area, will create a clockwise one-way flow of traffic using Magpie Road, Esdelle Street/Edward Street, the new link road to Pitt Street (leading to St Crispin's roundabout on the inner ring road), and returning north along St Augustine's Street.

St Augustine's Street was due to re-open in mid-October but the signs in the street have been amended to say it is due to re-open in Winter 2010.

Bosses at Norfolk County Council apologised for the delay but said the aim now was to get St Augustine's Street open by Thursday, November 18.

County Hall spokesman John Birchall said it was hoped the so-called gyratory scheme would be up and running on Saturday, November 27.

He said: 'The main reasons for the delay were that the gas works overran and there was also a collapsed sewer which had to be dealt with.

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'We have got to the point where we are on the finishing straight and we are aiming to have St Augustine's Street itself open for November 18, which is a Thursday late night shopping night.

'We are aiming to have the gyratory itself running on November 27, but that is going to be a bit more complicated. There will need to be a number of traffic orders and changes to roads, so we will publish details on that soon.'

Stuart McLaren, secretary of St Augustine' Community Together Residents' Association, said was sceptical the work would be finished in time. He said: 'They have still got a lot of work to do. They haven't resurfaced St Augustine's Street yet and they have still got a lot of the work on the pavements to do. 'I am somewhat sceptical as to whether they will get all the traffic lights and pedestrian crossings sorted out in time.'