The St Augustine's One-way Gyratory Traffic Scheme
1 (March 2010), 2 (April 2010), 3 (May 2010), 4 (June 2010), 5 (July 2010),
6 (August 2010), 7 (September 2010), 8 (October/November 2010), 9 (mid-November to mid-January 2011)
THE GYRATORY BLOG
19th February. News just in:-
An avenue of new trees that was originally to be planted in the large paved area in St Augustine's Street/New Botolph Street (near Wallace Kings) has been cancelled due to the position of underground electrical cables and services, which are not where they were supposed to be! At least the old silver birch here has been spared the axe!
Seats and a bench have now been installed here plus six cycle racks. More cycle racks are to be installed here and over the road near the entrance to the Gildencroft alley. To see a plan of where the cycle racks and seating are located, please click here.
Residents and traders near the fore-mentioned large paved area have been asked by Norwich City Council not to park on the pavement or display goods there, as these could constitute a hazard to pedestrians, especially the blind and partially sighted.
Combatting speeding on St Augustine's Street has been made one of the West Centre Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP) team's priorities for the first quarter of 2011. New speed restriction zone signs are now in place around the gyratory.
A news report on the St Augustine's Gyratory is due to be published in the Norwich Evening News on Monday 21st February. Click here to read.
2nd February 2011. ACT has asked the aboricultural officer at Norwich City Council to report back to us on tree health in and around the St Augustine's gyratory, in particular where construction refuse such as sand and cement has been left around their roots. We have also asked for a report on where planned planting of new trees is still outstanding, e.g. in the large paved area outside Wallace Kings in New Botolph Street.
January 2011. There are a few things left to do but the gyratory is virtually complete now. The unfinished paving work at the St Augustine's end of Sussex Street is a nuisance. The new plaza outside Wallace King's is an attractive space but it looks empty and undeveloped. While the old silver birch has been saved, where are the new trees that were going to be planted here?
December 2010. At an ACT community meeting in St Augustine's Hall on 9th December the St Augustine's Gyratory was discussed. Residents and traders raised a number of concerns surrounding the final phase of construction. These were summarised and emailed to Norfolk County Council's Environment, Transport and Development Department on the 10th. The concerns and the Council's responses (in blue) are reproduced below:
1. There do not appear to be any signs on the gyratory warning drivers that there is a 20 mph limit. Incidents of vehicles evidently exceeding this limit have been witnessed on St Augustine's Street and Edward Street. Will speed limit signs be installed?
There will be 20-mph speed limit signs - these will be erected shortly, if not already in.
St Augustine's Street will be subject to a 20-mph speed limit as will a section of the link road near the junction will Pitt Street/St Augustine's Street. Other roads will be subject to a 30-mph speed limit, although as always, drivers need to drive according to the road layout - Edward Street for example, has quite a tight bend at the Anglia Square end.
2. Some cyclists are continuing to ride on the pavement and also to ride the wrong way down St Augustine's Street, endangering themselves, other road users and pedestrians. Can warning signs be installed?
We have been trying to limit the signing on the scheme, to avoid too much sign clutter - this is particularly true on St Augustine's Street. The cycle routes will be signed although we don't as a rule use warning signs to dissuade cyclists from using footways - the default being that they can't use them unless signing is in place to do so. If this becomes a problem on St Augustine's Street, we will have to review the situation here.
3. Buses and coaches exiting New Botolph Street onto St Augustine's Street have been seen to mount the paved area outside the entrance to St Augustine's churchyard where there is textured paving for the visually impaired. The turn here is very tight for long vehicles and clearly not all drivers are negotiating it safely. Can the angle of this turn be looked at again?
I think the problem here is that there are still temporary barriers around the islands that are under construction - this means that there is currently less road width than will be the case when completed. The various islands have been designed to allow for the turning movements of the vehicles using them - this particular turn is designed to enable the maximum length legal HGV to make the manoeuvre.
4. The junction of Sussex Street with St Augustine's Street has been narrowed and there is a concern that this may result in vehicles turning right out of and left into Sussex Street colliding. Work on the paved area here is not yet complete. If there is still an opportunity to widen this junction could this be considered rather than planting trees here?
The junction radius at the junction with Sussex Street has been tightened in order to reduce the width of the crossing for pedestrians, in accordance with the design guidance. There is only one tree proposed here, on the south side.
November 2010. Norfolk County Council's website now says that work on the gyratory will be completed by November (rather than October). As of today (1 Nov) it would appear that there is still much work to do. This includes installing new traffic signals and Pelican crossings at St Augustine's Gate and the junction of Magpie Raod and Esdelle/Edward Street, the resurfacing of St Augustine's Street and the repaving of the footpaths in St Augustine's Street, plus the planting of new trees and the installation of new street furniture such as railings and benches outside Wallace Kings. It is hard to see how this remaining work can be possibly completed this month. St Augustine's Street was scheduled to be closed to through traffic for 15 weeks. That has already be exceeded by a fortnight. 4 Nov. Norfolk County Council are reported in the Norwich Evening News (click to read) saying that there have been delays due to the gas main replacement works taking longer than expected, but they intend to reopen St Augustine's Street to traffic on 18 November (i.e in 2 weeks) and to have the whole gyratory up and running by 27 November. We shall see. 20 Nov. St Augustine's Street was reopened to traffic during the evening of 18 November as previously promised. However, Pelican crossings are still not operational and pedestrians will have to cross without them for a few more weeks. Buses are not yet using St Augustine's Street as the western end of Magpie Road from St Augustine's Gates to the junction with Esdelle/Edward Street is still two-lane east and west.
September 2010. A name has now been chosen for the new bit of road in the gyratory linking Edward Street and Pitt Street - it is New Botolph Street! Work on St Augustine's Street has been slightly delayed due to a problem with a burst water main. It looks like good progress is being made on the new paved "piazza" near Wallace Kings. There will be new trees here and seats and benches. The old silver birch, which wa ear-marked for felling, has been reprieved and will not now be removed. Hurray!
July 2010. St Augustine's Street is now closed to traffic as work continues on the gyratory. Following pressure from SACTRA the County Council order additional traffic signs to be placed near the temporary, uncontrolled crossing near Wallace King's car park: warning pedestrians that traffic is moving in both directions and warning drivers that there is a pedestrain crossing ahead. Pretty basic common sense to have had them here from the start, one would have thought. Still better late than never!
June 2010. Temporary traffic lights are installed at St Augustine's Gate after a lightning strike (on 8 June) damages the traffic lights there. 22 June. Serious accident involving collision of cyclist and bus on new link road between Pitt Street and Edward Street.
Work on Phase 2 & 3 is behind schedule (making Bakers Road a cul-de-sac and reconstruction of Esdelle Street/Edward Street/Magpie Road). St Augustine's Street is not now expected to be closed until early July.
18 March 2010. Norfolk County Council's Transportation & Planning Department confirm that Phase 1 of the project will not now be completed as per schedule in April but will have to be extended into May, due to unanticipated problems with the construction of a new surface water drainage system for the link road, as well as the discovery of previously unknown underground services in the area. Work is now expected to be completed in November (rather than October) 2010. There will be a meeting in St Augustine's Hall on 15 April (starts 7.30 p.m.) at which highway engineers from the County Council will be on hand to report on progress and answer any questions you may have.
27 Jan 2010. A computer-generated video of the St Augustine's gyratory has been posted on You Tube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5_mpiX_Sic Have a look, its fab!
26 Jan. 2010. SACTRA is currently seeking clarification as to why certain mature trees have to be removed from areas near the route of the gyratory raod system, in particular the silver birch outside Wallace King's near the junction of Botolph Street and St Augustine's Street, which is a paved area that's not in the direct line of the new road system and is planned to be turned into a small plaza with more trees in any case. Below is the detailed reply received by ACt from Norwich City Council's Senior Landscape Architect on 5.2.10:
Thank you for your email of 30th January on behalf of the St Augustine's Community Together Residents' Association about the planned removal of the Silver Birch in front of Wallace King's on Boltoph Street. In your email you expressed concern that the removal of this tree was perhaps 'simply a matter of convenience so that the builders & designers will have a clean slate to work on when they build the 'plaza', rather than have the inconvenience of a tree to work around'. You also say that 'It was expected that the existing mature birch here would be retained and become a centre piece of this area.'
I should like to assure you that where it is appropriate and feasible Norwich City Council aims to retain existing trees and serious consideration has been given to the retention of this birch tree. However, there are genuine concerns about the effect the proposed works will have on the stability and life expectancy of this tree.
The redevelopment of the area in front of Wallace Kings will directly affect the Silver Birch in the following ways:
The existing paving will be taken up, the sub-base renewed and prepared for laying the new paving. The root system of the birch, which is a shallow rooting species, will inevitably be disturbed during these works.
There will be several new utilities installed in the area outside the Wallace King shop. They will pass quite close to the existing tree. While the precise route of new services is dependant on what is found in the ground, there will be a new 300mm gas main installed to one side, within a couple of metres of the existing tree, and electricity and BT cables on the other side, (between the tree and the shop). The trenching works involved in laying these services (even were they to be dug by hand) will compromise the existing tree's root plate and its structural stability.
The levels for the pedestrian area outside Wallace King have not yet been finalised, but they will be reviewed to ensure the area drains correctly. Interpolating the levels between the shop and the new kerb indicates that the levels may reduce slightly. Any change in levels is damaging to trees, and such a change would adversely affect the tree.
Consequently the retention of this tree was considered ill-advised and an alternative proposal was developed that compensated for it's loss by planting seven new trees in the front of Wallace Kings.
City Council's press release concerning trees in St Augustine's:
"The amount of new trees in the St Augustine’s Street area is planned to double as the city council replaces those removed as part of a £3.3 million road improvement scheme. The council is proposing to re-plant 33 new trees to replace 16 being removed as part of the new one-way traffic system being constructed at St Augustine's Street.
Plans are for 10 trees to be planted at Edward Street, three trees at Leonards Street, seven at Boltolph Street’s junction with St Augustine's, four at the entrance of Gildencroft, six at St Augustine's and three at Baker Street. However, these proposals are dependent on the location of the existing underground services. This planting is scheduled to begin this winter and finish next winter. Trees are to be removed from the junction of Magpie Road and Edward Street, when the garages currently on site are demolished. The birch tree outside Wallace and King on St Augustine's Street will also be removed, as will an ash tree at the entrance to Gildencroft and a pine tree at Bakers Road." [26.1.10]
20 Jan. 2010. There was an organised walkabout of the planned route of the gyratory today. ACT Secretary, Stuart McLaren, represented the Association. He asked about the work by National Grid to replace the gas main. This will be done during the closure of St Augustine's Street between June and September and will mainly effect the western side of the street. There will be some brief disruptions to gas supply during the work. A regular newsletter with information on progress of the raod works will be made available via email to those you want it. Copies will be displayed on the St Augustine's Hall notice board. To read the associated press release click here.
5 Jan. 2010. Amid what is being described as the coldest winter for 30 years there are the first signs of work getting underway on the gyratory as workmen in fluorescent jackets and hard hats are spotted dismantling a section of wooden fencing beside the entrance to the tarmaced car park in Botolph Street. Over the next three, snow-bound days the engineers fence off the route of the new link road and do a bit of mysterous digging and drilling! 12 Jan. At the start of the 2nd week of work the former car parks in Botolph Street are really beginning to resemble a busy construction site.
27 Nov. 2009. SACTRA receives a reply from Norfolk County Council's Planning & Transportation Department addressing local residents' and traders' concerns raised at a recent community meeting about vehicular access to their properties and premises during the forthcoming road works and road closures, namely:
Vehicular access only for residents and also for emergency vehicles will be maintained on St Augustine's Street and the yards and courts then lead off it.
The proposal includes work by National Grid to replace the gas main that runs along
St Augustine's Street and NG will be working from the north to the south. As this work progresses southwards, the direction of access will change. For example, those needing access to Catherine Wheel Opening will initially access from the southern end of
St Augustine's Street but as the works move southwards along the road the access will be switched to the north end at St Augustine's Gate.
As far as Esdelle and Leonards Street are concerned, the proposal is to remove the bollards and temporarily open up the two closed off sections onto Edward Street and this will operate as a one-way system using an in and an out; this would then allow their junctions with St Augustine's Street to be closed off to allow us to do the works at those junctions. When the works at the affected areas are complete, the closed off sections will be reinstated.
With regards deliveries to shops, we will need to co-ordinate this with the shopowners but envisage setting up an agreed dropping off point with assistance provided by us; this method was recently used during the resurfacing works on Magdalen Street.
16 Nov. 2009. SACTRA receives a outline schedule of the planned construction work on the St Augustine's Gyratory from Norfolk County Council's Planning & Transportation Department. It is hoped work will commence in early January 2010 and take about 10 months to complete. The work will be carried out in five phases:
1. Construction of the new link road between Edward Street and Pitt Street. This work will take approximately 13 weeks to complete, i.e. January-April. There won't be any road closures for these works, just temporary traffic lights where the new road ties into the old.
2. Works on Edward Street/Esdelle Street and the junction with Magpie Road will be carried out mainly under a road closure and these works will be carried out April/May.
3. Works on Magpie Road and the junction with Esdelle Street will be carried out in May under a road closure.
4. The works on St Augustine's Street will require a road closure of some 15 weeks, from June until mid September. During this time, traffic will be diverted along Magpie Road, Esdelle/Edward Street and the new link road and vice-versa if northbound. As well as the highway works, National Grid are proposing to replace the old gas main which runs along St Augustine's Street so this has added several weeks to the programme although it will reduce the need for future maintenance works on the main.
5. The last phase involves finishing off works at several locations around the site. These works will be carried out under temporary traffic lights and should be completed in October.
3 Sept. 2009. A report in the Norwich Evening News today confirms that that the County Council have failed to reach an agreement with the owners of Anglia Square (Totem Ltd via their estate managers, Centenary Ashcroft) over the use of land currently being used as a car park that is needed to build the new road between Edward Street and Pitt Street, which will be a vital link in the St Augustine's one-way, gyratory system. In order not to disrupt traffic and local businesses in the run-up to Christmas, it has been decided to delay the commencement of work until January 2010, provided, of course, that the council and the "developers" of Anglia Square have managed, finally, to reach an agreement by then.
September 2009. Even delays are fast moving these days, it seems. It is only 2 September and already the official "hoped for" date for work to commence on the one-way gyratory sysem has shifted to January 2010. The following statement from Norfolk County Council was received by SACTRA this morning:
The start of the St Augustine’s Gyratory scheme is dependant on the granting
of planning permission for the Anglia Square redevelopment including that for
the new link road between Pitt Street and Edward Street, which will form part
of the gyratory system. There is also a need to legally stop up redundant
sections of roads within the Anglia Square site.
The planning agreement between Norwich City Council and the private
developer of Anglia Square is very complex and has taken longer than
anticipated to finalise. Planning consent will be granted by the City Council
once this agreement is finalised.
The timetable for the completion of these statutory processes later this year,
including their statutory challenge periods, mean that it is likely to be more
practical for the County Council to begin construction of the gyratory scheme
in January 2010 rather than start on site towards the end of this year, with the
need to close down the site to leave the highway clear over the Christmas
The gyratory scheme will have a construction period of 11 months, so a
January start will still enable the scheme to be completed in 2010.
August 2009. We understand that the "hoped for" commencement date for work on the
St Augustine's gyratory is now officially October. There was an article on this "news" in the Norwich Evening News on 19 August 2009. The text of a letter written in response to this article by SACTRA's Secretary published in the Evening News on 27 August, is reproduced below:
In your report on St Augustine's Street's traffic problems we learn that transport chiefs are "hopeful" work on the one-way gyratory system will begin in October.
In the spring we were told work was scheduled to start in June. Then we were told August, then September, now it is October. Six years ago St Augustine's Street was declared one of three Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA) in Norwich because levels of harmful vehicle emissions were found to be above what is safe.
A traffic survey found an incredible 17,000 vehicle pass through this narrow, medieval street every day. The other two AQMAs, Castle Meadow and Grapes Hill, have now had work done to reduce pollution levels.
St Augustine's Street, for some reason, has been left to last and there seems to be a lamentable lack of urgency in getting things moving.
The sticking point appears to be land owned by Anglia Square currently being used as a car park. This is needed for the link road between Edward Street and Pitt Street in the one-way gyratory system . Bizarrely, on Sunday, I watched as contractors re-tarmaced the Botolph Street entrance to this car park - land which, if we are to believe the Councils' traffic bosses, will be torn up in a few weeks' time to build the new link road.
While the councils wrangle interminably with the developers of Anglia Square over the fine print in their agreement, the congestion and pollution problems in the St Augustine's area are, if anything, getting worse.
Traders here are desperate for a reliable timetable of works, so they can plan for the effects on their business of road closures and disruption during the various construction phases. Trading here is hard enough as it is.
We have seen no fewer than seven business in St Augustine's Street close or move in the past 18 months. How much longer must residents and traders of this neglected quarter of the city put up with this procrastination?
S. McLaren, Secretary, St Augustine's Community Together Residents' Association.
Mr Lester Fish of Colmans Opticians on St Augustine's Street sent SACTRA an email in response to this letter, as follows:
Excellent article in the [Norwich] Evening News the other night - all power to your
elbow. We need to know well in advance when (if ever) the road improvements
will happen so we can inform customers. I have a horrible feeling that the
first we will know is when the 'road closed' signs go up.
August 2009. Mancroft councillor, Adrian Holmes, has passed on a copy of a letter he has received recently from Norfolk County Council's Planning and Transport Department. This notes that work on the gyratory system is now due to commence in September and to last 11 months (so complete by July/August 2010). In March we were told work would begin in June. In June we were told it would start in August. In August we hear it will start in September, dependent on certain legal agreements being finalised between the Council and the developers of Anglia Square. What's the problem, we are asking? How much longer must residents, traders, pedestrians and vehicle users endure the traffic congestion and high pollution levels in this area?
June 2009. Work on the gyratory is not now expected to start until August; although, according to Norfolk County Council, this is still provisional on their resolving certain "outstanding issues". The first phase will be the construction of the link road between Edward Street and Pitt Street across the surface car parks in Botolph Street. Public notices have already been placed in Botolph Street advising the public that there will be temporary closures of Botolph Street and Botolph Way (the alley leading into Anglia Square), while some of you may have noticed that two of the large advertising hordings in Pitt Street (presumably near where the new road will emerge) have recently been dismantled. Temporary closures of Edward Street and St Augustine's Street are not expected until after the New Year. The gyratory is due to be completed by the summer of 2010.
March 2009. Work on constructing the one-way gyratory system in St Augustine's is expected to commence in June and should be completed by spring 2010 in order that air quality improvement targets for St Augustine's Street are met before the end of 2010. It is believed that the first phase will concentrate on building the new link road between Edward Street and Pitt Street across the surface car parks in Botolph Street. Work on St Augustine's Street is expected to begin in January 2010 and will require the street to be closed for approximately 3 months.
February 2009. With the confirmation from a director of Centenary Ashcroft, the developers of Anglia Square, that building work there has been put on ice pending a recovery in the economy, SACTRA is seeking a statement from Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council about the future of the Northern City Centre Action Plan, especially the proposed one-way, gyratory traffic system for the St Augustine's area. Are their plans now on-hold too or will they go ahead on a more limited budget with a longer timetable? Councillors Maran McKay (County) and Adrian Holmes (City) have each offered to ask these questions on our behalf at the next meeting of the Joint Highways Committee. The Councils have both confirmed that the cost of building the gyratory will be met from Norwich Growth Point funding and money allocated in the Local Traffic Plan. News on when work on the gyratory is likely to begin is anticipated next month.
9 December 2008. Norwich City Council is given permission by the Government to demolish the block of garages on Edward Street to make way for the proposed Gyratory road scheme. To see a copy of the decision and read the conditions attached to it click here.
8 December 2008 to 30 January 2009 (5 p.m.) - Consultation period under "Regulation 27" of the Plannuing Regulations. Responses to the Northern City Centre Area Action Plan, which was approved by Norwich City Council in October (see below), can be made during this period (on the official consultation response form available from the City Council's Planning Department in City Hall). Responses have to be related to the "soundness" of the plan, e.g. whether the plan in legally compliant, and whether the plan is justified, effective and consistent with national policy.
21 October 2008. Northern City Centre Area Action Plan, including the construction of a One-Way Gyratory Scheme for St Augustine's is approved by Norwich City Council. The Secretary of SACTRA attended a full Council meeting at City Hall as a member of the public. During the meeting the majority of Norwich City Councillors voted in support of the Northern City Centre Action Plan report, which will now go out for public consultation and then to the Secretary of State for the Environment in early 2009 for Government approval. In the vote the Green Party group abstained. During the debate on the report the Green group of councillors had asked for an amendment removing the gyratory scheme from the report and for it to be replaced by a scheme to make St Augustine's partly pedestrianised, as the majority of local residents had wanted when previously consulted. This gyratory scheme had come in for serious criticism by councillors in the Conservative, Green and Liberal Democrat groups during the debate. However, when it came to the vote only the Greens voted for the amendment, so it failed.
29 July 2008. The Norwich Joint Highways Agency Committee meeting on the 24th was attended by the Secretary of SACTRA, St Augustine's residents Carol Cooper and Jill Peto, and Mancroft City and County councillors Cllr Adrian Holmes and Cllr Maran McKay. Each were allowed three minutes to speak before the Committee and each made valid points of concern about the gyratory scheme and the fact that the majority of local residents and traders had expressed a preference opted for St Augustine's Street to be pedestrianised or made access-only, but that this option had subsequently been withdrawn by the highways department as "unworkable" (i.e. too expensive!) After they had spoken the Committe briefly discussed the proposal and the two voting members present (out of the four that should have been present!) voted in favour of the highway's department's gyratory scheme to make St Augustine's Street one-way northbound. So much for local democracy! However, it was noted that the scheme could not proceed until the plans for the redevelopment of Anglia Square had received approval. This was possibly many months away, so work on the gyratory was unlikely to begin until 2009 or possibly even later.
24 July 2008. On the 24th July at 10 a.m. in the Committee Room at City Hall the Norwich Joint Highways Agency Committee will be discussing the County Council's Highways Department's report on the proposed gyratory system for the St Augustine's area. The meeting will be open to the public, but if you want to speak you will need to contact the committee secretary at least 24 hours before the meeting.
13 May 2008. The public consultation period for the proposals ended today. The concerns of residents and traders, as expressed at the SACTRA public meeting on 17 April 2008, were sent to Norfolk County Council on 21 April. SACTRA today received the following reply:
I can confirm that your consultation responses, dated 21 April , have been received.
We are now working through all issues raised, and will as promised provide a detailed response to you. If requested we can come back to a future meeting of SACTRA.
In due course a report will be taken to Norwich Highways Agency Joint Committee (July at earliest) and this will set out all consultation responses and our comments.
Thank you for your contributions so far.
Project Team Manager
Norfolk County Council
Planning and Transportation
BACKGROUND INFORMATION & SUMMARY OF RESPONSES
On 17 April 2008 SACTRA held a public meeting in St Augustine's Hall to allow local residents and traders to get their first view of Norfolk County Council's proposed redesign of the traffic flow in St Augustine's.
The background to this is that the air quality in St Augustine's Street (measured five years ago) was sufficently poor that the City and County highways and environmental authorities were legally obliged to improve it. It has been estimated that up to 17,000 vehicles use St Augustine's Street each day, which is a great deal for what is essentially a narrow medieval street.
Between them Norwich City and Norfolk County councils have come up with a plan (part of the Northern City Centre Area Action Plan) to make St Augustine's Street one-way, northbound from Pitt Street to St Augustine's Gates (Aylsham Road); Magpie Road one-way, eastbound between St Augustine's Gates and Edward Street, and two-way from Edward Street to Magdalen Gates (as now); with Edward Street one-way, southbound, joining a new link road to Pitt Street with a loop back to St Augustine's Street completing the gyratory system.
In addition, Bakers Road would be closed at its eastern end and there would be improvements to the streetscape (pavements, landscaping, trees, flower beds, benches, etc.) and additional traffic signals and pedestrian crossing points, including one across Aylsham Road to the parade of shops (where the swimming bathes used to be), which has been one the wish list of local people for many years!
Summary of concerns expressed at the 17 April 2008 public meeting of SACTRA:
1.The proposed widening of the junction at Magpie Road/Edward Street would necessitate the loss of 30 garages in Edward Street, currently leased from Norwich City Council by local residents in Magpie Road, Esdelle Street, Leonard Street and elsewhere, who are unable to park outside their own homes. No alternative parking has yet been offered to them.
2. Motorists wishing to turn out of Esdelle Street, Rose Yard and Sussex Street into the one-way, north-bound, single file traffic flow in St Augustine's Street will find it nearly impossible to find breaks in the traffic flowing north, especially during the evening rush hour.
3. The main aim of the gyratory system is to improve air quality in St Augustine’s Street by making it one-way , but certain areas such as Magpie Road and Edward Street will as a consequence of the proposed changes to traffic flow receive more traffic than at present and so their air quality will presumably decline: just moving the problem elsewhere. The presence of buses and coaches in St Augustine’s Street, where there are none or few currently, will lead to an increase in pollution here, which will defeat the object of the proposed gyratory scheme, which is to improve air quality by reducing vehicle numbers.
4. Cyclists heading south into the city on Aylsham Road will inevitably be tempted to take the short cut of riding on the newly widened pavements in St Augustine’s Street, thus hazarding pedestrians, rather than go all the way around Magpie Road to the new North-South cycle route connecting Heath Road via Edward Street to Anglia Square/Pitt Street.
5. While Bakers Road is being blocked off, nothing is being put into place to prevent Sussex Street becoming a rat run - it will in effect be the only route out of St Augustine’s Street when traffic is congested there at peak times and may also attract vehicles from Oak Street. While 58 new homes being planned in Oak Street on the Talk site will in any case increase traffic in Sussex Street as the only entry and exit to this scheme will be via Chatham Street and Sussex Street. In addition, the likely conversion of the former Norwich Union offices in Sussex Street into residential units with two entrances/exits (in Sussex Street, as now, and directly onto St Augustine's Street near St Martin at Oak Wall Lane) will further increase the traffic here. Where these new housing developments included in the computer model used to predict traffic levels and flows?
6. No lay-bys are being planned for St Augustine’s Street, to allow customers’ cars to stop and shop, or for deliveries to be dropped off to the traders there, thus making it even harder for them to trade successfully here. A number of traders have threatened to move out of the area already because of this.
7. St Augustine’s Street will for the most part be a single track road. If vehicles, including buses, break down here or lorries and vans stop to deliver to the shops, it will completely block one of the major routes out of Norwich. Motorists will inevitably be tempted to get round any such blockage by climbing up onto the pavements, thus hazarding pedestrians and damaging the new paving stones that are to be laid here, or use Sussex Street as a rat run.
8. Breakdown vehicles will find it difficult to access and extract broken-down vehicles from a single file one-ay St Augustines’ Street, especially the larger buses and coaches.
9. There were fears that traffic and pollution would increase locally, rather than decrease, as the new roads would encourage more traffic to use them.
10. The preferred option of local residents and traders is overwhelmingly for a pedestrianised or access-only St Augustine’s Street. This has been rejected as unworkable because of expected knock-on effects to neighbouring roads (e.g. Oak Street, Magdalen Street and Barrack Street). Local people feel that the proposals, which will in effect turn the east side of St Augustine’s into a traffic island, are a compromise between the need to improve air quality in St Augustine’s Street alone (based on out-of-date, 5-year-old figures) and to keep the traffic flowing efficiently in north Norwich generally, and into and out of the Anglia Square redevelopment scheme in particular; while the wishes of local residents and small traders for a quieter, pleasanter, more sustainable environment with fewer vehicles passing through it that contribute nothing to the local economy has been given a much lower level of importance when designing the gyratory scheme.