Improvements are required in the Longwater and Easton area of Norwich to:
- Resolve existing issues on the transport network
- Accommodate additional traffic arising from planned growth
We’ve carried out a series of reports, assessments and feasibility studies to see how we should address these pressures:
Based on this work, we found we needed:
- Smaller scale measures, likely to be funded from existing sources
- A large intervention that would require significant funding from sources yet to be identified
Smaller scale measures
- Free flow left turn slip road from William Frost Way to Dereham Road
- Widening Dereham Road between the Longwater roundabout and the new traffic lights at Lodge Farm 2
- Longwater Lane/Dereham Road junction improvement
- Dereham Road widening to two lanes in each direction (east section)
- Part signalisation of the Longwater southern (Showground) roundabout
- Free flow slip road form Dereham Road westbound onto A47 eastbound
- A47 eastbound off slip road improvement
- Easton Village public transport corridor
- Cycle and pedestrian bridge over the A47
- Improvement to the Easton roundabout
The first four improvements have been built. They were funded by a mixture of developer funding and government funding (secured by us).
Item 5 is a development requirement which is developer funded. It will be implemented at an appropriate time.
Items 6,7,8 and 9 will be investigated once funding is identified.
Item 10 will be delivered as part of National Highways scheme to dual the A47 between North Tuddenham and Easton. This will be located further west than the existing junction. This scheme is due to be completed in 2024-25. The National Highways website has more information.
Large scale intervention
The feasibility work found there were two possible large-scale interventions.
The first one was to provide a link road from Dereham Road to the Ernest Gage Avenue/William Frost Way roundabout. This would be called the Longwater Link Road.
This would help the interchange and provide a second southern access to the Queens Hill/Longwater area. This would relieve pressure on the William Frost Way access.
This scheme was favoured over the second more expensive option which was to provide an additional bridge over the A47.
Further work is required on the Longwater Link Road scheme to develop a strong business case. This will be essential for securing capital funding for construction. We are looking at funding opportunities to do this.
We are promoting a Norwich Western Link (NWL) which will connect the A1067 to the A47. We hope to be able to start to construction in 2023 with an opening to traffic in late 2025.
A47 dualling between North Tuddeham and Easton, and the Norwich Western Link will influence traffic patterns in the area. A formal review of the Longwater Strategy will be carried out after these schemes have opened. The review will re-examine the efficacy of the Longwater Link road. This will determine if it should still be pursued.
Changes to the existing strategy
Over recent years the strategy measures have had some minor additions around walking and cycling provision.
The planning permission for some 900 new homes in Easton required an improved footway or cycleway to be provided on the approaches to and over the existing A47 bridge.
This must be built before the first house is occupied.
This is part of the strategy to supplement item 9, which will need significant funding to deliver.
A developer-funded scheme is being designed for a signalised pedestrian crossing. This will link the retail outlets on the eastern side of William Frost Way with the Sainsbury superstore. This will be put in place at the earliest opportunity.
Queens Hill – bus lane
Our current favoured use for the road link between Queen’s Hill and Ringland Lane is for buses only. This will incentivise public transport.
We're continuing to work with the various developers at Queen’s Hill about the adoption and opening of this bus lane. This is currently on private land, but we're nearing the stage when we can adopt it as a highway. This will allow the bus lane and gate to come into operation.
Sometimes incidents occur that block the southern access to Queens Hills. Talks with stakeholders have taken place in the past about devising an Emergency Access Protocol. This would see the bus gate opened in emergency situations. But we cannot implement this until we have adopted the bus lane.
We'll arrange further meetings with the relevant parties to review the protocol to ensure it is fit for purpose. We hope the relevant parties will sign up to a protocol once the bus lane is within our control.