Norwich street to re-open this week
A Norwich street is set to reopen next week as a �3.3m improvement scheme nears its final stages, council bosses have said.
But it will take until Christmas for the so-called St Augustine's gyratory scheme to be fully up and running, it has emerged.
Barring any last-minute hitches. St Augustine's Street itself will be opened for northbound traffic on Thursday so that traffic leaving the city after Thursday late-night shopping will be able to use the street for the first time since early July.
However, the full scheme will not be in operation yet because further work is needed, according to Norfolk County Council.
Traffic going into the city from Aylsham Road will continue to use Magpie Road, Esdelle/Edward Street, the new link road and Pitt Street towards St Crispins roundabout.
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With northbound traffic using St Augustine's Street, Esdelle/Edward Street will become one way southbound.
The stretch of Magpie Road between Aylsham Road and Esdelle Street will continue with two way traffic, but Waterloo Road will be closed for city-bound traffic between Starling Road and Magpie Road.
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Traffic using this route will be diverted on to Starling Road. This will help the flow of traffic through the St Augustine's/Magpie Road/Aylsham Road junction.
Norfolk County Council said those arrangements will allow the Pitt Street/link road junction to be completed (at the southern end of St Augustine's Street outside Wallace King).
Council bosses urged drivers to take particular care, to look out for signs and to be aware some manoeuvres are no longer possible.
The new traffic gyratory system is due to begin on Thursday, November 27, although work will still continue and some sections may be temporarily narrowed.
Magpie Road will then become one-way between Aylsham Road and the junction with Esdelle/Edward Street.
City bound traffic on Waterloo Road will turn left on to Magpie Road to join the gyratory.
The temporary mini roundabout at this point will eventually be replaced by a new traffic island.
The scheme will be complete by Christmas, but council chiefs said it would take several weeks before it worked to its full potential, partially because the new traffic lights cannot be immediately linked to the city-wide computerised traffic control system.
Traders in the street recently criticised the delays in getting the road re-opened, which was originally supposed to happen in October.
Cherry Cappuccio, of Trends hair salon, said her business has been hit hard by the closure.
She said: 'My passing trade has virtually gone because it's so difficult to get down here and it's such a mess, that pedestrians are choosing to use an alternative route.
'I have got wages to pay and I'm struggling to pay them while staff are standing around waiting for trade that isn't coming in.'
Have you had problems caused by the closure? Contact Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org