A major scheme to improve walking, cycling and public transport around Norwich train station will get underway from next week.
The Transport for Norwich scheme will create a new transport hub outside Norwich train station and improve bus journey times to the station and city centre with the installation of a new bus gate on Thorpe Road between Lower Clarence Road and the Foundry Bridge junction.
The project will also see the creation of new bays for hiring Beryl bikes and a number of significant walking and cycling improvements around the station including pavement widening, a new zebra crossing and a new segregated crossing for those entering or leaving the station by bike or on foot.
Councillor Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport and chair of the Transport for Norwich Joint Committee said: “As a key transport hub and gateway to the city centre these improvements will improve access and safety for all forms of greener travel.
“Speeding up public transport on key routes across the city is a core focus of our Transforming Cities programme. We are already seeing significant journey time savings across the network through improvements delivered so far and this scheme will put us in a much stronger position to work with bus operators and central government to secure future funding for zero emission buses.
“Every effort will be made to keep disruption to a minimum and complete the project as quickly as possible. We thank local businesses and the public for their patience while works are carried out”.
The Thorpe Road bus gate will also be used by cycles and taxis and the layout of the station forecourt will also be improved, formalising areas for pick ups and drop off.
The final stage of pavement resurfacing works on Riverside Road will also be completed as part of the wider scheme.
The project forms part of the £32m Transforming Cities Fund programme being delivered by Norfolk County Council and the Transport for Norwich partnership across the city, which aims to improve access to jobs, training and retail by supporting improvements to sustainable modes of transport, while also responding to issues around air quality.
Works start on Monday 24 January and are expected to take around 6 months to complete with further updates provided as works progress. Full access to the station will be maintained at all times but bus passengers are advised to check with operators for any service updates while works are carried out.
“Paul Martin, Commercial Manager at First Eastern Counties said; “We along with other bus operators, are working in partnership with Norfolk County Council to deliver significant improvements for bus passengers through a variety of projects funded through the Transforming Cities programme. We are already seeing real benefits for passengers in terms of journey time savings in the changes delivered so far and this project will further support the recently completed Thorpe Road contraflow, providing consistent and reliable journeys between the rail station, city centre and beyond, helping to cut carbon emissions and congestion in the longer term”.
Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs at Greater Anglia said: “This project should make access to public transport in this part of the city – including to our railway – easier for everyone, which we welcome. These works support the improvements we’ve made to our services, with our brand new trains and record-breaking punctuality.”