Temporary pedestrian zones in Norwich extended until next year
26 November 2021
The temporary order that made Exchange Street and St Benedicts Street city centre pedestrian and cycle zones has been approved for extension until June next year by the Department for Transport (DfT).
Due to work taking place on Grapes Hill roundabout, general traffic has been able to use Exchange Street as part of the necessary diversion route since September but its status as a pedestrian and cycle zone is due to be reinstated from 30 November when work finishes.
This means that the road will be closed to motorised traffic between 10am and 5pm seven-days-a-week and only access and loading allowed at all other times. The planters and barriers there previously will also be put back in place.
The current temporary status of St Benedicts Street between St Margarets Street and Charing Cross is a pedestrian and cycle zone, with loading and access allowed at any time.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Chair of the Transport for Norwich joint committee and Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said: “We had a fantastic response to our Norwich Lanes consultation in
July and it’s important that we digest all the feedback, along with that of the recent loading and access consultation, before making any decision on the long-term future of these important city streets.
“By securing this extension to the temporary orders, we can explore our options fully and make well-informed recommendations for approval to the joint committee next year. The focus will remain on the aims of the project, which is to make it safer and easier to get around on foot or by bike, to support outdoor hospitality and boost the local economy, and to improve air quality.”
The original temporary orders to make Exchange Street and St Benedicts Street pedestrian and cycle zones were made as part of the DfT’s Emergency Active Travel initiative last summer. This was in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and provided funding for infrastructure measures to support the promotion of walking and cycling.
These orders were due to end next month but the county council applied for an extension to them while comments from the ‘Connecting the Norwich Lanes’ consultation are being analysed, as well as those from the recent follow-up city centre loading and access consultation. The findings of these will be presented to the Transport for Norwich Joint Committee in January 2022, where the arrangements beyond June 2022 will be discussed and decided.