Two months of disruption as £470,000 roadworks start
- Credit: Dan Grimmer
A summer of disruption on a Norwich road will begin on Monday, but council leaders and bus bosses say the gain will be worth the pain.
The work on South Park Avenue, near Eaton Park, will mean diversions and road closures until Friday, September 10.
It will see nearly £470,000 spent to widen and resurface the road, with a new zebra crossing installed near one of the park entrances.
The money is coming from the Department for Transport's Transforming Cities Fund, which saw £32m awarded to the city for its roads network.
The work will address a problem where number 25 First buses have to wait to pass each other because the road is not wide enough.
It signals more disruption for an area which saw months of roadworks last year, because of work in Colman Road.
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Council leaders acknowledged that, but said the changes would be worth it.
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, and chair of the Transport for Norwich joint committee, said: “The council has a great track record of securing investment for improvements in the Norwich road network and this funding usually has to be spent within a certain timeframe, which is why sometimes there are projects in relatively quick succession within an area.
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“We understand that any disruption on our roads is frustrating for those affected and, in this case, we have planned as much work as possible during the school holidays to help minimise the impact."
In the first stage of the works, up to Wednesday, July 21, South Park Avenue will be closed to all traffic from Colman Road up to and including the junction with Pettus Road.
The junctions with Pettus Road and Parmenter Road will be closed.
Access to homes, the school and parking at Eaton Park will be maintained, but Norfolk County Council said all vehicles will need to access South Park Avenue from the Colman Road end and exit via Buckingham Road as a one-way system will be in place.
From Thursday, July 22, to Sunday, September 5, the same closure and one-way system will be in place, though the junction with Buckingham Road will also be closed.
Exit from the one-way system between these dates will be through to Bluebell Road.
For the final week from September 6-10, parking bays along South Park Avenue will be temporarily closed.
Signed diversion routes will be in place throughout the project.
Bus services which usually run through the area will divert via Bluebell Road, The Avenues and Colman Road.
Paul Martin, commercial manager at First Eastern Counties said, once the work is done, it would speed up buses.
He said: "South Park Avenue is a pinch point for our blue line services, linking the railway station and city centre with the university.
"Unfortunately throughout the day this location regularly causes delays for passengers as buses have to slow down to pass each other.
"This Transforming Cities scheme will make a vast improvement to the situation, allowing quicker and more consistent journey times between these key locations, which in turn will encourage more people to use the bus network in the city.”