Date revealed for start of work on £6.1m city street revamp
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
Work on a £6.1m revamp of Norwich's St Stephens Street is due to start in September, after the scheme was given the green light.
The changes for the street, one of the city's main shopping areas, includes moving bus stops, shelters and planters and improved crossings for pedestrians.
Members of the Transforming Cities joint committee, made up of city, county and district councillors, unanimously agreed to the scheme on Thursday, June 10 - despite safety concerns raised by Norwich Cycling Campaign.
When the plans were originally mooted in September last year, council officers had suggested increasing the number of bus stops in St Stephens Street.
But, after consultation, that number will now remain the same, with extra bays put in at Norwich bus station instead.
Work on those is due to start this month.
A proposal to make Surrey Street one-way was scrapped, but plans for new 'sawtooth' bus bays in St Stephens Street remain.
Norwich Cycling Campaign had warned the alignment of those bays could mean a bus driver might not spot a cyclist when pulling out.
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But council bosses said it made it easier for buses to pull away and evidence from similar schemes in Cambridge had not shown an increase in incidents.
Mike Stonard, Labour Norwich city councillor said he welcomed how the initial proposals had been amended following the consultation period.
He said: "My outstanding concern had been around the sawtooth bus bays and the safety of cyclists cycling along St Stephens.
"But we are now aware of information from Cambridge and Peterborough where they have similar arrangements in much busier areas and they have had no incidents.
"Just because something is theoretically a risk, does not mean it is. We need to look at the evidence and, looking at that evidence, my fears have been allayed."
The scheme will be paid for using some of the £32m which Norwich was awarded through the government's Transforming Cities scheme.
Labour's Emma Corlett said it was a pity the St Stephens Roundabout and underpass could not be changed.
Council officers had hoped to secure money for that through the Transforming Cities bid, but Norwich did not get as much as hoped.