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24-hour bike lane for busy Norwich road

Coucnillors approve £500,000 of roadworks

A main route into Norwich will become cycle-friendly 24 hours a day after a £500,000 overhaul was approved by city councillors.

The bus and cycle lane along Newmarket Road will be the exclusive preserve of cyclists and bus passengers all day, instead of currently between 7am and 7pm.

The lanes will be continued from Unthank Road back to the dual carriageway at the Eaton bypass to the point where it crosses the River Yare.

Cars travelling along the single-lane carriageway will be reduced to 30 mph.

It is hoped the measures will help to ease growing problems with late buses coming from the west of the city and address congestion fears created by new homes springing up in Cringleford.

Cyclists have welcomed the plans, which were approved at a meeting of the joint city and county council Norwich Highways Agency Committee yesterday.

Virginia Greasley, of the Norwich Cycling Campaign, said: “We are very pleased with the plans - the 24 hour bus and cycle lane will make it safer for cyclists, and remove uncertainty about when the lane can be used.”

The plans will also see the pedestrian and bike crossing near Elveden Cross moved, and will remove the right turn lane into Unthank Road off Newmarket Road.

More than half of the residents who commented on the proposals said there was no need make the bus lane 24 hours, but police said they would only support the speed reduction if the bus lanes were restricted at all hours.

Mervyn Scutter, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton, said: “We all know the accident statistics - if you change the speed from 40mph to 30mph you seriously change the chances of surviving the accident.”

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