Green party councillors in Norwich say Norfolk County Council is not doing enough to deliver temporary traffic management schemes to help pedestrians social distance.
Norfolk and Norwich have deployed stencilled and temporary signs to encourage people to walk on the left hand side of the street in places. Pedestrian crossing times have been lengthened at traffic signal-controlled crossings around the inner ring road.
The councils are now proposing temporary changes to Exchange Street and St Benedicts Street, which include restricted access for general traffic and loading activity outside core business hours and the removal of redundant signs, railings and other street furniture.
Consideration is being given to further measures on streets such as Magdalen Street, St Giles Street, Upper St Giles, Surrey Street and All Saints Green. The public will be consulted on proposals.
Green Party councillors Jamie Osborn, Martin Schmierer, and Sandra Bogelein have written to Martin Wilby, Norfolk’s cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure. “It is deeply worrying that it has taken more than five weeks for Norfolk to come up with plans for just two streets in Norwich,” they said. “People are, right now, running a daily risk between catching coronavirus on crowded pavements or being run over by stepping out to avoid other passers-by.”
The councillors criticise Norfolk for focusing only on the city centre. “The guidance from the DfT urged councils to adopt ‘whole-route’ approaches to create corridors for buses, cycles and access only on key routes into town and city centres’. In Norwich, for example, that could mean installing ‘pop-up’ cycle lanes on those sections of the Dereham Road that are currently missing them.
“Other councils have pushed ahead with ‘School Streets’ to prevent traffic from choking up streets around schools at key times. Why has this not been considered for Norwich?”
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