Toggle mobile menu visibility

St Stephens Street improvement scheme

In 2020 the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund provided £32m to Norfolk County Council and the Transport for Norwich partners.

The funds were to improve access to jobs, training and retail across Greater Norwich. They were to support improvements to sustainable transport and respond to issues around air quality.

Across the city there have already been improvements made to bus lanes and walking and cycling facilities as part of this programme.

And as a direct result of these projects, First Bus have already committed an £18m investment in upgraded vehicles.

The collective changes put Norwich in a stronger position to secure future funding for zero emission buses and other initiatives aimed at improving the environment for walking, cycling and using public transport.

See further details on the current work and our wider Transforming Cities programme.

Initial works

The first phase of the project involves removing existing street furniture, such as bus shelters and benches. It also involves taking up the existing road surfacing.

This is a major construction project. We're recycling materials wherever possible. A lot of the original paving slabs etc are currently stored on site so we can put them back in place later.

Once utilities work and repairs to the base of the road are complete, the site's appearance will improve. The new footways, bus stops, seating and landscaping will start to take shape.

We'd like to thank everyone for their patience whilst these works take place.

The budget for the St Stephens project

We're only permitted to spend the funding on the projects agreed with the Department for Transport. There are strict rules around how we can use the Transforming Cities Fund.

So it's not possible to fund other highway projects or council services. This scheme represents ‘very high value for money’ based on government criteria for assessing schemes.

Why we're making improvements to public transport

The pandemic affected public transport use, as it did many sectors of the economy. But usage is steadily increasing towards pre-pandemic levels, particularly in Norwich.

Before the pandemic, bus use was already in decline in some parts of the country. But Norwich was bucking that trend and saw a steady increase in the number of people travelling by bus.

We expect high housing growth around the city in the coming years, plus an increased shift towards travel by more sustainable means.

So having the right infrastructure in place will enable us to reduce congestion on our roads. It will also put us in a stronger position to meet the environmental challenges of the future.


This is a significant construction project. The expected completion for the overall project is Autumn 2022. This includes further phases of work on Red Lion Street and William Booth Street.

The exact duration of works on St Stephens Street will only become clear once we've established the full extent of utility works and repairs beneath the existing road surface.

But we'll make every effort to complete this section and fully reopen the road as quickly as possible. We'll provide project updates online.

New sawtooth bays

The design of the bays ensures that buses will not need to reverse to exit them. The design is used in other parts of the country, including Cambridge. There's no impact on public safety.

The new layout of the bus bays allows buses to stop next to the boarding point more easily. This way passengers can get on and off the bus safely.

Temporary bus stops

Theatre Street does not have enough space for all bus routes to safely stop there. We're currently working with bus operators to look at providing extra provision or alternative arrangements.

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon Email icon


Print icon