Plans to add a bus lane to Cromer Road and Aylsham Road in Norwich have been called a waste of money by residents, but council officials say it will cut bus times.
Two new sections of bus lanes to Norwich city center were put into consultation earlier this year, funded by the £ 32million government city transformation fund.
Residents have reacted overwhelmingly against the plans, with Lodore Avenue resident Taylor Coburn calling the plans “ridiculous.”
“It’s just not necessary, it will do more harm than good, I think, it will block the road 100%, making it more congested and more difficult for everyone,” said the 18-year-old. .
“It just makes me a little disappointed, it will cost a lot of money and I think it could be used for other things for the community.”
Plans call for the installation of a dedicated bus lane between Fifers Lane and Mayfield Avenue on Cromer Road and the second on Aylsham Road, between Suckling Avenue and Woodcock Road.
The two bus lanes would be shared with cyclists and would operate 24/7.
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“My take is I’d rather not have it, it’s a busy road,” said John Tuttle, 73, a resident of Cromer Road.
“It’s hard enough to cross the road as it is, what will happen when it’s congested?”
“I’m not sure the cost will make a big enough difference.
“Without a camera system to fine people, you’re going to get people to keep driving in it.”
Carla Dransfield, 43, of Cromer Road, said the plans would be a “nightmare” that could end up being worse for the environment.
“It will end up congesting even further, which will be even worse for the environment,” she said.
Mr Tuttle and other residents have expressed concerns about what this would mean for the shoulders and sidewalks and whether they needed to be reduced in size.
A consultation on the plans ended in March, with the overwhelming majority of 457 respondents speaking out against the plans.
In total, 78.77%
In response to the consultation, city officials will reduce bus travel times by approximately 15%.
They said: “The traffic modeling shows a low impact on the general traffic, with an increase in the peak period of up to 6pc. ”
They rejected suggestions that the plans could lead to rat races or worsen air quality.
They also took issue with the assumption that the route had insufficient bus traffic, claiming that it was used by 180 buses per day on arrival and that creating the 24-hour bus lane was to “achieve all the advantages “.
“Traffic monitoring along this route and bus tracking information have highlighted traffic jams and delays, especially during rush hour.
“This is also reflected in the Hellesdon neighborhood plan, which says that ‘what people hate the most about life in the parish is the level of traffic, busy roads and congestion.
“Bus operators have reported that rush hour bus travel times can take 3 to 4 minutes longer.”
Not all residents were against the plans, on Aylsham Road Ms Webster said she would benefit from taking the bus to work, while a Lodore Avenue resident praised the plans but did not believe it should be 24 hours a day, which he described as “OTT”.
Shelagh Gurney County Council and District Councilor David King have raised concerns about the plans, but welcomed the additional funding that will be spent on road maintenance and resurfacing.
A decision on the plans will go before joint committee of cities in transformation on Thursday, June 10.
Martin Wilby, member of Norfolk County Council’s cabinet for highways, infrastructure and transport, and chair of the Transforming Cities Fund Joint Committee, was contacted for comment.