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Road widening scheme on busy road at Colney to begin next week

21 March 2018

Work to widen a busy road near the Norwich Research Park and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is set to begin next week, and overnight road closures followed by a round-the-clock lane closure from early April will cause some disruption to people who travel through the area.

The B1108 Watton Road at Colney is the main route between the A47 and the hospital and the research park, and has become increasingly busy in recent years. Norfolk County Council is widening a three-quarter-mile stretch of the road between the A47 and Hethersett Lane junction by around two metres, to make room for central hatch markings to separate the lanes of traffic, more space at the edge of the road and slightly wider lanes. All these measures would allow drivers to pass cyclists more safely and enable emergency vehicles, particularly ambulances, to get through when there is heavy traffic on the road.

The main work is set to begin on Monday 26 March and continue until Friday 14 September, subject to any delays due to the weather.

Martin Wilby, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said: “This stretch of road wasn’t designed to carry the volume of traffic it does now, so this is important work to keep all the people who use it safe, as well as help blue light vehicles respond to emergencies as quickly as possible.

“Given how narrow the existing road is, we can’t carry out the work safely without causing some disruption to people who use the road. So there will be some short-term pain but when the new widened road is complete, it should make journeys along it easier and safer.”

The programme of works is as follows:

From Monday 26 to Friday 30 March there will be overnight closures on the road from 7pm to 6am to allow the work to be carried out safely and reduce disruption to the public. A diversion route via the A47, A11 and Earlham Road will be signed.

Then from Tuesday 3 April to Friday 14 September one lane of Watton Road will be closed for the duration between Hethersett Lane and the A47. There will be no access to the road for traffic travelling out of Norwich towards the A47 junction, drivers will instead be directed along the same diversion route as for the overnight closures.

However Watton Road will remain open throughout to traffic wanting to travel towards the city from the junction with the A47, effectively becoming a one-way road for the duration of the works.

The lane closure is necessary to enable the work to be carried out safely and for heavy equipment and vehicles to manoeuvre around the site. Closing the road to traffic one-way has been agreed in order to prevent queuing back onto the A47, which would have been a risk with other forms of traffic management such as temporary traffic lights. This lane closure may however cause additional congestion on other routes out of the city, particularly during the evening rush hour.

Finally over a three week period between 6 and 24 August, Watton Road will be completely closed 24 hours a day while the existing carriageway surface will be pulverised and resurfaced with new material.

During the improvement work, emergency vehicles including ambulances will be directed to reach the A47 via Colney Lane, Round House Way and the A11. The work is expected to cost around £1,700,000. Norfolk County Council thanks people for their patience while this work is being carried out.

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